Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | January 27, 2021

Being Fruitful In Suffering

“The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” (Genesis 41:52, ESV)

The Bible reading plan I’m following this year recently led me to Genesis and the story of Joseph. Joseph had endured years of heartache. The unimaginable had happened. He was betrayed by his own family. Abandoned. Alone. He was falsely accused, imprisoned and left for dead.

Despite what was going on in Joseph’s life, he stayed connected to God. He didn’t let the circumstances change that.  Sometimes when life is hard it seems all we can do is just survive it – by any means. But God wants us to do more than survive – he wants us to thrive. He wants us to bear fruit in all seasons.

Later in life, Joseph had two sons.  The oldest he named Manasseh. Manasseh means, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” (Gen.  41:51) The youngest was named – Ephraim “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” (Gen. 41:52)

Being a “Manasseh” a survivor and getting over a painful past or personal trauma is a wonderful accomplishment. It brings glory to the person.

But the message of Ephraim, “being fruitful in suffering” is that it brings glory to GOD—WHO ALONE can give the grace-filled capacity to face the unimaginable and be fruitful in the unimaginable. An even greater glory is to never forget and to let the suffering become the platform for the display of God’s glory. Producing fruit through pain and heartache is a miraculous occurrence.

It is clear from studying the life of Joseph that God gave him Manasseh.  God gave him the ability to forget the pain, to move past it.  Otherwise, he would have been a bitter, closed off person.

We never read where Joseph gave up and became bitter. God didn’t keep Joseph from enduring a lot of hard things “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor”. God honored Joseph and opened a lot of doors for Joseph to bless others.

Joseph went from being sold as a slave to the second most powerful person in Egypt. None of us want to go through hard times and suffer great loss. But one thing I’ve learned in my own life- if I keep my eyes on Jesus and allow Him to use me – even when I’m in a situation I don’t want to be in – – He will bring good from it. He will take my emptiness and fill it to overflowing.

“Father, Life is not going as planned.  I am so grateful that You are not caught off guard.  I choose to cast my cares on You.  I can rejoice in my sufferings because I know You will use it for Your glory.

For His Glory

Laura Holmes (
TRBC Women’s Life



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