01/16/18 Trusting God in Grief

READING: Genesis 34-37

His brothers pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him . . . to the Ishmaelites.”

Genesis 37:28

Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him—so much so that they wanted to kill him and throw him into a pit. The intervention of Reuben saved Joseph’s life but did not stop the other brothers from throwing him alive into a pit. They even had a meal together, flippantly eating with their brother in the nearby hole. Then, they sold him into slavery with the Midianites, covered his outer garment in blood, and let Jacob, their father, assume that “a vicious animal has devoured him” (Gen. 37:33).

Jacob’s grief was indeed great. As far as he knew, the son he loved “more than his other sons” (Gen. 37:3) was now dead. The father could only assume he would go to his grave mourning for his son. No one could comfort him.

In the meantime, though, the Midianites “sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and the captain of the guards” (Gen. 37:36). Contrary to what Jacob thought, Joseph was not dead; in fact, God was moving him into a position that would eventually save Jacob and his family from famine. God was up to something, even though everything Jacob knew led only to grief.

Faith is tough when all the evidence says the story is over, but we must trust God anyway. He is always working His will.


  • Ask God to grant you faith to trust Him even when you can’t see what He’s doing.
  • Challenge someone else to trust Him this way, too.

PRAYER: “God, I struggle with trusting You sometimes. Help me when I can’t see Your hand in my life.”


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