God gave Joseph the meaning of Pharaoh’s dreams. There would be seven years of abundant crops and food, followed by seven years of severe famine. God also gave Joseph wisdom.
“‘And now let Pharaoh look for a man discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh take action to appoint overseers in charge of the land, and let him exact a fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven years of abundance. Then let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and store up the grain for food in the cities under Pharaoh’s authority, and let them guard it. And let the food become as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish during the famine.'” ~ Genesis 41:33-36
I would imagine Joseph was taken aback when he was the one Pharaoh chose to implement God’s plan. At the age of thirty, Joseph was taken out of slavery and prison and thrust into a position of leadership, second only to Pharaoh in the land of Egypt.
“So Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you.’ And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘See I have set you over all the land of Egypt.’ Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand, and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen, and put the gold necklace around his neck. … Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Though I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.’ Then Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, as his wife. And Joseph went forth over the land of Egypt.” ~ Genesis 41:39-42, 44-45
Joseph truly went from rags to riches, dressed in royal garments and finery, and given the power of a king. He was to be respected and obeyed by all the Egyptian people. Suddenly he had a wife and an important job, both given to him by a grateful Pharaoh. Finally he was able to see how God had been preparing him for this all along. Joseph had been faithful in little- in prison- and now he was to be faithful in much.
When we are going through hard things, it is difficult to see how it will turn out okay. But once we are “on the other side”, we can see what God taught us through it all, and how He made us stronger and more useful for His glory. He is refining and shaping us.
I know God is faithful and will always take care of me and meet my needs. I know this for certain, not just because of the promises in His word or the examples like Joseph, but because I can look back and see how He has taken me through hardships time and again and worked it all together for good. The longer, and closer, I walk with Him, the more I find this to be true.
“And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:19