There isn’t much thought given to why bad things happen to BAD people because the general consensus is they deserved it. However, when something bad or painful happens to a good person, we tend to ask why a loving God would allow such events to happen to a good person. After all, isn’t God the God of love, peace and all that is good? So why allow evil in the first place.
Perhaps reflecting on the lives of biblical heroes like Joseph can shed some light on this gray area. Joseph, one of Jacob’s 12 sons, was obviously the favorite. On one occasion, the Bible mentions in Genesis 37:3-4 how Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other sons. In fact, the Bible says Jacob made Joseph a richly ornamented robe.
As a result of Jacob’s favoritism towards Joseph, the Bible says Joseph’s brothers hated him all the more and would not speak kind words to him. To make matters worst, Joseph added fuel to the fire by sharing multiple dreams of not only his brothers bowing down to him, but the sun, moon and stars bowing as well.
Eventually his brother plotted to do harm to Joseph by selling him into slavery. If that wasn’t bad enough, over the years Joseph was subject to false imprisonment, lies, forgetful friends and broken promises. Yet, through it all Joseph remained faithful to God and God moved powerfully in his life.
Please hear me on this, through all the trouble, setbacks and disappointments, God never left Joseph. Genesis 39:2-4 says, “The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant.”
We all know how the story ends with Joseph becoming second in command of Egypt and his brothers later learning the identity of Joseph as ruler. The key scripture I would like to focus on relates to what Joseph told his brothers in Genesis 45:5-8. The scripture revealed the following points:
1. In verse 5 Joseph asked his brothers not to blame themselves for what happened and to not be distressed.
2. Joseph realized that God used the situation to save lives by sending him ahead of them.
3. God often thinks and operates on a grand scale that delivers compassion to the world. Often times He chooses to work through our lives to accomplish this.
4. Joseph grew and learned God’s purpose for his life through the adversities.
God wants us to discover His purpose and desire for our life by trusting in Him. At times this is taught through painful events. Events that often times can and will bring us to our knees in prayer. The lesson from this is to realize that God was there all along. I implore you to take a moment to reflect on your life to see how God may be moving in the situation that is causing you pain. Ask yourself, is there a larger purpose in this that my pain maybe blinding me to? Please remove the blinders to see the path God is faithfully trying to lead you on.
We must remember that in John 15:5 Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” The vine is full of many twist, knots and turns, but ultimately we must stay in the vine so God and God along can see us through to the end.
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