Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?

The Lord God plans to do you good; His plans are not for disaster but to give you a future and a hope.

God Had a Perfect Plan

But His path led Joseph right through the valley of the shadows. In loving-kindness, the Lord positioned Joseph to be in the right place at the right time, to transition him out of pampered and entitled son into the position of a wise and trusted leader.


Joseph basked in being the favorite son of Jacob, and he strutted; after all, God had given him dreams he’d rise to a position of great authority.


His brothers, jealous, sold him into slavery. In a moment, everything changed, and Joseph found himself confronted by an impossible situation. Overwhelmed by fear and shame, covered in waves of painful loneliness, he must have felt abandoned by God. There was no way of escape. No safe place. Nowhere to turn – except to God – but was it possible to trust the God who allowed evil to happen to him?


Victimization Doesn’t Define You

If we are honest, this is where most of us run into trouble, thinking if we love Jesus, everything will go well for us. When we experience suffering, many of us sink into a victim mentality. But Joseph triumphed over evil and rose above victimization.


It hit me as I read Joseph’s story. Despite traumatization at the hands of his brothers and his captivity in slavery, God, in loving-kindness, positioned him to learn a powerful lesson.


And no circumstance or person had the power to control his mind.


Despair flooded his heart, fearful and angry thoughts churned in his mind as he was objectified and humiliated, but with courage, Joseph chose life. Moment by moment, in adversity and pain, he placed his trust in the God of his fathers.

In loving-kindness, the Lord positioned Joseph to transition him out of pampered and entitled son into a wise and trusted leader.

God’s Divine Plan Transformed Joseph

The Lord God had a perfect plan. Joseph’s brothers, acting in revenge, believed they were in control. The wonderful truth is God allowed their treacherous act so Joseph would learn to persevere and be faithful even when confronted by evil.


God divinely orchestrated for Joseph to be purchased by Potiphar, the officer responsible for Pharaoh’s safety, and positioned Joseph to be trained to step into his destiny.


The problem is, as Joseph was stripped of dignity, his identity was also assaulted. It was a battle for him to retain his true identity as son. Scripture indicates he refused to embrace slavery as a mindset and clung to his identity as the son of Jacob.


He is The Rock

His faith in God stood firm. Knocked down but not knocked out, he clung to the Rock and gave thanks. Holding fast to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Joseph refused to lose hope but worked with excellence. The result? God blessed all he did; Potiphar noticed, and with a growing respect for the youth, began to give him responsibility until Joseph was in charge of all Potiphar had.


When hit by adversity, do you cling to the Rock? Or do you flee for safety to what feels familiar and comfortable, over which you have control?


Life can be both painful and unfair. You may have lost a loved one or seen the death of your dreams. Those you work with may be vicious and unkind; your family may treat you with disrespect. But think about it. God positioned you for blessing. But adversity often paves the way in preparing us for God’s wonderful blessings.

Joseph refused to embrace slavery as a mindset and clung to his identity as the son of Jacob.

When Life Knocks You Down…

  • Do you remember you are the child of the Most High God?

  • Do you allow the Lord to lift you into the place of safety where you are seated in Christ? Or do you run and hide? Or try to self-protect by numbing your heart?

Choose to Walk in Hope

Instead, ask, “Lord, what do you want to teach me in this difficulty? Help me learn, for I desire your will and not my own.


Do you remain faithful to the Lord and work with excellence? Do you persevere amid hardship? Or do you move into passivity or self-defensiveness?


Here is the secret to thriving.


Be like Joseph. Choose life. His hope was in the Lord, not his circumstances. No matter what happens, decide to cling to the Rock, who cannot be shaken.

Lord Jesus,

when adversity hits, help me to trust you. When my heart is breaking, and all seems hopeless, Lord, please help me to cling to you. Lord, help me daily, moment by moment, choose life.

Verse to Claim:

Jesus is “The Rock — His work is perfect; all His ways are just. [Jesus is] a faithful God, without bias, He is righteous and true.” (Deu 32:4 CSB)

Child sitting in grass looking at sun with joy - Barbara Hitching

Photo’s by MART PRODUCTION and Ali Arapoğlu from Pexels

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