Bad to Worse: Still With Me?

“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.” (Genesis 39:1-2)

“A good and powerful God would never have let such a terrible thing happen in my life!” Ever hear anyone say that? Maybe it was the divorce of her parents or some other personal betrayal. Maybe it was a physical attack, an illness, or a death. Maybe it didn’t even happen to that person but to someone she loved.

btw_350We understand the feeling. What’s the good of belonging to the most powerful being in the universe if he won’t act to keep tragedy from falling on our heads? Joseph could have asked that question. He’d just been attacked, robbed, and then sold to slave traders with little hope of ever seeing his dad and little brother again — and all of this by his 10 older brothers!

Instead of deciding that the God who would allow such a thing wasn’t worth following, Joseph seems to have made a choice to believe the truth — that God was still with him. He made a choice to continue to serve God. We’re not told about any of his feelings, but God blessed Joseph — and kept blessing him — even though God chose not to keep Joseph from experiencing terrible circumstances.

Think: Do you judge God’s goodness or power by your own personal circumstances? What’s wrong with that idea?

Pray: Ask God for the courage to keep trusting him even when hard things come into your life.

Do: Read Genesis 37:12-36 to find out exactly what Joseph’s brothers did to him.