Read: Genesis 39:7-18
A friend of mine has been sick for her entire life. Her family has done everything possible for her healing. They have done all they can for her to even just function in daily life. Despite this, she still has not healed and continues to relapse to where she cannot function well in daily tasks. As her friend, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that God may never heal her. He is fully capable of doing this and He still might, but He also might choose not to.
In Genesis 39, Joseph continually chose the high road during his time in Egypt. He worked in a way that allowed him to earn a high position. A person does not come to the position of head of a household without effort. Even when he had that position, when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him, rather than wanting what he did not have, he acted as a steward for what he did have. Joseph respected his master and God by saying no to Potiphar’s wife’s seduction time and time again. Joseph did all the right things, and yet he was still wrongly accused and jailed.
We see clearly in this story and in the world that bad things happen to good people. This happens in small matters such as when the honest student earns a D on an exam after hours of studying while the dishonest student earns an A through cheating. We see this in big matters such as when the hardworking single mom struggles to put food on her table or when the faithful dad passes away from cancer. Just because we do the right thing and even follow God does not mean that things will go our way in this life.
God does sometimes choose to bless us tangibly, but sometimes He doesn’t. And yet, God is still good and faithful. He is the same God no matter the outcome of our circumstances. This does not make hard circumstances any easier. Instead, it gives us hope because we know that He is good and that He is making us more like His Son in both the good and the bad. We can praise Him for this.
While it is an insignificant matter compared to those above, I learned this through my high school grades. I was constantly stressed about classes. I tried to have the best possible grades because I had a fear of missing opportunities as a result of not putting in enough effort. Time and time again, I would prepare for my exams as best as I could and pray that God would help me understand and remember the information. More times than I can count, He did just that. But there were times that even though I did everything I could to prepare, I didn’t do great on exams. These times that God did not show up in the way I thought, He reminded me that He also works through closed doors. A lower grade in a couple classes could be His way of closing the door to certain opportunities I wasn’t supposed to have. I couldn’t know His reason for not tangibly providing at the time, but I could trust that Him nonetheless.
It’s okay to not understand why God does things the way He does. Whether your circumstance looks like a sickness that is not being healed or a struggle to succeed as something you are pouring lots of energy into, rest in the fact that God is trustworthy and does not change.
Are there some attributes of God that you struggle to believe are the same across varying circumstances? Write these down and ask God to show you how these apply to situations that He is healing as well as situations that He is not.