Why do good people suffer? The story of Joseph is a touching account of the path God often uses to build His children’s faith. He was the favorite among Jacob’s twelve sons and received the best his father had to offer. This fueled his brothers’ contempt. The conflict worsened when Joseph started having strange dreams: he would be promoted, and his family would bow before him. This was more than his brothers could handle. Though they stopped short of killing him, they sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt.

Jacob’s favoritism was wrong, but it didn’t justify his sons’ actions toward Joseph. Joseph suffered in innocence. Friends, the righteous will suffer. We may be forced to bear the brunt of criticism and cutting remarks from our friends and family for doing the right thing. This was Joseph’s life as a teenager. Nevertheless, he remained loyal to God. Those closest to him had abandoned him, but he refused to abandon God.

Rather than asking, why me? Joseph believed God had a purpose through it all. Do your co-workers mock you for working hard when they’re always slacking? Does your family keep their distance because you’re a Christian? Maybe you don’t have many friends in school because you have determined to do the right thing. Determine to stay faithful to God, and He will reward you in due time.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder