Then he sent someone to Egypt ahead of them – Joseph, who was sold as a slave. There in prison, they bruised his feet with fetters and placed his neck in an iron collar. Until the time came to fulfill his word, the Lord tested Joseph’s character. Then Pharoah sent for him and set him free. Psalms 105:17-20
Sometimes we feel imprisoned by our circumstances. Physical ailments, loss of job, financial struggles, marital problems, and other trials can make us feel as though we are confined by restraints like Joseph’s iron collar and fetters. Such circumstances may cause us to question what we have done why God would allow such events in our lives.
There was a time in my own life when I questioned everything I knew about God and whether it was all worth trying so hard to be faithful in the tough times. During that time, God gave me the following scripture to restore my faith when it was wavering: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” 2 Timothy 3:14-15. These verses confirmed for me that I could continue trusting everything I had learned about God since childhood. We may go through difficult times that cause us to doubt, but we can lean on and trust the things that we have seen God do in the past and know that he will see us through again.
What is the “iron collar” that has you feeling confined like Joseph and questioning your faith? We often wonder what we have done to deserve the circumstances we must face. According to Psalms, Joseph wasn’t struggling because of anything he had done but instead God was testing his character, and he was eventually set free from his iron collar. When we struggle with the “iron collars” of life, we often grow spiritually. What an amazing testimony to go through struggles and not only remain faithful, but grow closer to God in the process!
Isaiah 43:2-3 says, “When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” We can be sure that there will be difficult times in our lives, but these verses assure us that God will bring us through those times.