I've heard often that different scriptures have different meanings depending on your circumstances and frame of mind when you read them. Eight months ago, this passage brought me comfort. Today it forces me to examine my life. The Lord promises Joseph that the trials he experiences will help him grow and allow him to become more worthy of exaltation.
Having gone through trials, just like everybody else, I understand their role in our spiritual and emotional growth. So what's the problem? I find myself afraid of growth because of my fears of what trial the Lord might send me next. I don't want to see the jaws of hell gaping at me.
Thinking about it, I believe it comes down to really believing that the Lord has our best interests in mind. Eliminating my fears means trusting the Lord. In order to continue my climb toward eternal life, I must stop looking down, fearing the fall, stop looking forward, fearing the unknown, and take the proffered hand of help the Savior reaches out to me. I must cling to that hand and keep going.