Because Joseph never looked back with blame or bitterness, but kept looking up with belief in “the Mighty One of Israel,” he kept not only his faith but also his self-identity, his self-respect, his self-confidence, and his true selfhood. Though he was repeatedly a victim, he never claimed victimization as an excuse and, therefore, never assumed victim identity. He was truly “a fruitful vine…whose branches climb over a wall.” His identity became that of an overclimber, an overcomer, a victor.
I can hear those who consider themselves as victims objecting, “But surely God does not need our tragedies and traumas, or the sins that other people have committed against us, or our own sins, failures, and blunders, in order to work out His plans and purposes.” Of course, He doesn’t. But in this fallen and imperfect world, those are just about all the materials He has to work with. Most of us have not had the opportunity to choose the materials. Our only choice is what we will do with them, and what we will allow Him to do through them.