When speaking of testimonies, Joseph's is one of my favorites in the Bible. He's had a lot of tragedy, but he tacked all of those with an attitude that should inspire all of us, turning his sorrow into something spectacular for the Lord and for everyone else around who that were alive during his time.
He was a dreamer, but his own brothers hated him for his vision even though they were from God. I think that tragedy begins when dreams are crushed because then, hope could reach its brink and a person could end up in a downward spiral instead of go up and be all that God intends for him or her to be. But Joseph held on.
Later in his life, he was thrown in a cistern and his brothers plotted to kill him. When a caravan heading Egypt came, they sold him instead. Everything that Joseph knew was taken away from him and he was sold as a slave. He didn't know anyone in Egypt. He probably didn't even speak the language. He lost everything. Well, all except for his faith in God.
When tragedy strikes, we could either lean in to the Lord or give up completely. But no matter what happens, God promises to work all things together for our own good (Rom. 8:28). For a Christian, problems are stepping stones to blessings. We view tragedies---job loss, separation, poverty, lack---as something to go on a pity-party for, but if we look beyond to the other side, they really are beneficial to us. Our tragedies are meant to be testimonies that will give glory to God.
In my church, a sister shared her story about how for many years, she and her family had to move from one place to another, not having a permanent home with no steady income. She has a big family so the number makes life even harder. But she held on to God and prayed, and one day, she was called by the church elders and told her that she doesn't have to rent a home anymore. What happened? God gave her and her family their own place to settle on. God even provided them with a tricycle for transportaion and a small business of their own to live on. When she shared her testimony, everyone was blessed.
If you take a look at the life of Bible Teacher, Joyce Meyer, God turned her tragedy into a testimony, too, and a very powerful one at that. Joyce was raped by her own father for many years. She suffered all kinds of abuse you can think of from her own family and she was a walking tragedy. She was ruined on the inside. But God came into her life and turned her mess into a miracle and now she's helping millions of people overcome in life. From a walking tragedy, God turned her into a walking blessing...a living testimony.
Let's go back to Joseph. Now a slave, Joseph was accused of rape and he got thrown into prison for nothing. But from the deepest, darkest place and point in his life, God called him to be the governor of the entire land of Egypt as the second most powerful man to Pharaoh. But then, it was only the title that separated Joseph from Pharaoh. If you study what happened, you'll understand that Joseph himself was actually the one with the most power and authority in his time. And eventually, God reunited him with his family, restoring to him everything that he lost. What Joseph said concerning his life should be our hope. In Genesis 50:20, he says this, speaking to his brothers who early in his life, sold him to slavery, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive."
If you let Him, God will take your pain and turn it into a blessing. You'll be blessed, but so will many other people.
A lot of times, people come to the Lord based on a testimony that they've heard. Our testimonies prove that God exists. People need that, you know? Proof. So take heart because if you're in the midst of a tragedy, rest assured that God will do something great out of it.