Why do bad things happen to good people? This question isn’t easily answered but it’s even more difficult to deal with when you are the person who is suffering. Either from something horrible someone has done to you, or a circumstance out of your control, human nature rages at God for allowing such horrible thing to happen. It seems that bitterness is unavoidable. Yet, it does not rid us of our problems but only pores oil on the fire.
Looking at the Bible no story gives more testimony to faith in the face of hard times than that of Joseph and his brothers. No doubt, if anyone had a reason to get angry with God and life it was Joseph. Betrayed and sold into slavery by his own brothers at age seventeen, and then through what seems to be a series of bad circumstances, is put into jail by his master for a crime that he did not commit. Thirteen years would pass this way without any clear sign that he would someday be let free.
How did he stay free of bitterness and anger? That question is never entirely answered as you follow his story but his life stands as a landmark to the fact that it is possible. For some reason Joseph kept his confidence in God. And God did not disappoint him.
Joseph miraculously was made ruler of Egypt and, through God’s guidance, able to save the known world at the time from a very dangerous famine. When he was reunited with his brothers, Joseph reveals the key to his dependence of God. “As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you (brothers) meant for evil. He brought me to the high position I have today so I could save the lives of many people.” Genesis 50:20.
It is a great comfort to us to know that God is in control and will use every challenging situation for good. That is the beauty of God, he can take anything meant for evil and make it more beautiful than we could ever imagine. No doubt the temptation for bitterness and anger will always be waiting at our doorstep to overcome us. Yet, we can look to Joseph’s story and remember that God has great things planned. Just you wait and see…