One of the hardest things we have to work through is that bad things happen to good people. When this happens our view of God is critical to our answer and each of us will have to decide what place the Bible should have in this process of evaluation. Genesis 50:20 is a passage where Joseph (cf. the historical account of his life in Genesis 37-50) shares with his brothers that he knows that they meant evil when they sold him into slavery, but God meant if for good. God has plans for our lives, and while we may not understand His plans, it is our responsibility to trust Him in them. We must recognize that pain and suffering are an inescapable part of this life, and deal with them accordingly. In doing so The Bible identifies some things we can do.
1. remember God’s Word encourages us to be prepared for suffering because trials are inevitable (James 1:1-5)
2. Understand that there is not always a direct link between suffering and individual sin (book of Job)
3. Let suffering deepen our walk with God (Matthew 11:28-30)
4. Remember God promises that He will not give us more than we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13)
These promises and others can help us maintain our focus as we deal with the circumstances of life.