So Joseph was there in prison. But the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him. – Genesis 39:20-21
In comparison to the trials and sufferings around the world, life in the “West” is pretty good. Sure, sometimes things don’t go well. In fact, they go poorly, but we might exaggerate our “difficulties” a bit (first world problems). Then again, personal difficulties are … well … personal and often overwhelming! So why does God allow them? Why not keep such things from us? Certainly He could if He wanted.
The biblical record states that while Joseph was in prison, the Lord was with him and showed him kindness. God stood by (it seems), allowed Joseph to be falsely accused and imprisoned, then sustained him during his incarceration. What? Why?
It is an observable principle that light shines brightest in the night and likewise, it is God’s transcendent goodness that sustains us in our most difficult days. Trials and tribulations will certainly come in this life, but so will God … and with each test, we see Him more clearly and lean on Him more strongly. Though the days may be evil and full of trouble, His goodness shines in us and through us … if we will just let it.
The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer