It is always the case. God’s great purpose of grace is brought to pass out of great affliction. Out of Christ's suffering and death for us, we are saved with an everlasting salvation! The choicest fruit is borne on the pruned branches. Our faith, which is much more precious than gold that perishes, is purified by Christ in the furnace of trials (1 Peter 1:7). The Church grew most when they were scattered by persecution (Acts 8:1, 4; 11:19; James 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1).
Hear God’s promise of comfort and assurance to His promised people in their affliction:
“Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20-21)”
“He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people. He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD. (Psalm 113:7-9)”
“Before I was afflicted, I went astray; but now have I kept thy word (Psalm 119:67).”
“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. (Isaiah 57:15)”
“When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died. (Hosea 13:1)”
“Sin shall not have dominion over you, because you are not under law but under grace (Romans 6:14.)”
“The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would (Galatians 5:17).”
When the sin of Joseph’s brothers was exposed, when they knew it and owned their guilt before their brother Joseph, and when they stood without a plea in themselves before Joseph their Judge, only then did the pleas of Judah for Benjamin as his surety to his father and as his substitute to Joseph, bring from Joseph their Judge the greatest comfort to them. It was out of their greatest trial that Joseph gave them the greatest comfort and assurance of God’s promise of grace. God’s grace and comfort of it came to them because of their Surety. All would be fulfilled in spite of their evil intent and wicked deeds against him who sat on the throne (Genesis 45:5; 50:20). And do we not see in all of this our heavenly Surety and Substitute in Christ? And do we not see our heavenly Joseph who sits on the throne of God’s justice and brings from there the greatest comfort to us from God Himself, all because of Christ’s substitution, advocacy and intercessions? All grace to us in spite of our evil intent against Him in our unbelief and wickedness?
So it was when Israel was in Egypt according to the purpose and promise of God under the rule of the wicked king. When things looked their worse, God’s purpose of grace to the promised nation was fulfilled at the right time in perfect accord with His word.
What do we learn from this? No matter how evil the enemy, no matter how evil his intent, no matter how wicked his acts against God’s people, no matter how weak the children of promise, no matter how ungodly and sinful they are in themselves, God’s promise of grace to them in Christ will be fulfilled. Though sin has abounded, grace has much more abounded in Christ (Romans 5:20-21)! Sin will lose (Romans 6:14). Death has been plagued (Hosea 13:14). The grave will be destroyed (Hosea 13:14). Death will be swallowed up in Christ’s victory (1 Corinthians 15:54). Satan has been defeated in humiliation (Colossians 2:15). He will be subdued in impotence and cowering humiliation under the feet of Christ’s bride (Romans 15:20). Grace will triumph (Romans 5:21). Every sheep for whom Christ died will be brought to glory under the hand of Him that telleth them (Jeremiah 33:13). Christ’s own will be saved with an everlasting salvation (Isaiah 45:17). All of God’s elect will receive their promised inheritance in Christ (Hebrews 9:15). How will all of this be? By the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 12:11). According to the gospel we have heard and believed (Revelation 12:11). By the grace of Him who causes us to triumph daily in every place and at all times in the face of death (2 Corinthians 4:10; Revelation 12:11).
As Romans chapters 5-9 so plainly teach, there is an unbroken chain of grace that is in Christ, which links God’s purpose and promise to His people in Christ, to Christ’s death for them, to His gift of Himself in His own Spirit of grace to them, and to His final keeping and preserving and presenting of them in bringing every son to glory (Hebrews 2:10), holy, faultless and blameless before His throne with exceeding joy (Jude 1:24-25). This chain cannot be broken because every link is formed in Christ by the triune God. This is our comfort in our affliction, for His word has quickened us (Psalm 119:50; Romans 5:1-5).