Paradise Lost – All Under Control – Why suffering? – Genesis 49:33-50:26

Paradise Lost – All Under Control – Why suffering? – Genesis 49:33-50:26




Why suffering?

 “1 Joseph threw himself upon his father and wept over him and kissed him. 2 Then Joseph directed the physicians in his service to embalm his father Israel. So the physicians embalmed him, 3 taking a full forty days, for that was the time required for embalming.” (Genesis 50:1-3)

  When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?”So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept. His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.”” (Genesis 50:15-18)

 “…Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.”” (Genesis 50:19-20)


i) Does what Joseph say apply to everyone or just famous Bible characters?

“”we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:29)


ii) What about people who aren’t Christian and their suffering?

iii) Is God doing evil?


8 Tips to help Christians cope with suffering

1. ____________ is normal

 “Take up your cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34)


 2) God ______ punishing you

  • Fat men have bad knees
  • God punished Jesus, not Christians


3) God promises to ___ _______us in our suffering

” I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5)


4) God _______________ what you’re going through


5) Your suffering has ______ purpose

“Now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1Peter 1:6-7)


6) Be ____________ with your suffering

Joseph was ____ when sold

Joseph was ____ when got out of prison

Joseph was ____ when he said, “You meant it for evil but God meant it for good.”

7) Don’t be an ___________

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another” (Hebrews 10:25)


8) Keep your relationship with God fresh

God promises in Genesis…

1) A descendent of Adam and Eve who will rescue the world.

Genesis 3:15, ” I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

“The sceptre will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his. ” (Gen.49:10)

2) Abraham’s family will become a great nation

The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

“The Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them.” (Exodus 1:7)

3) A land of their own

 “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite, along with the field.” (Genesis 49:29-30)

4) A blessing to the nations

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20)


I want to know more:

  • What is Christianity? 321 The Story of God, the World and You:
  • More on this story:
    Genesis 50: The End of An Era, Bob Deffinaugh,
  • Article: Why do non-Christians suffer?
  • Article: 36 purposes to suffering:
  • Book: When God Weeps: Why our sufferings matter to the almighty – Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Book: Why Suffering? Finding Meaning and Comfort When life doesn’t make sense – Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale