The Pit of Despair

Yesterday’s talk was the next installment in our series, The Long Run. Using the story of Joseph found in Genesis 37-50, we examined four truths about suffering, pain, and loss as part of the human experience. Here’s a quick synopsis:

1. No one is exempt.
Joseph was the favored child at 17 but still found himself in a pit. A few years later, as chief assistant to the general if the Egyptian army, he found himself in another. Status or goodness is no protection when it’s our turn in the pit. (Romans 8:22-23)

2. Life is full of pits.
The writer of Genesis shows us two pit-experiences for Joseph. The second one is called a ‘prison,’ but the Hebrew word literally means ’round house,’ which was a circular hole in which prisoners were held – a pit. Like Joseph, we also experience many pits over the course of our lives.

3. Some pits are our fault; some are not.
Joseph pretty much brought the first one on himself, by bragging to and aggravating his older brothers. We might even say he deserved it. On the other hand, his time in the prison pit came despite his efforts to be obedient to God. But the untruths of Potiphar’s wife cast him in nonetheless. Same is true for us. In either case, pit-time is a good time to ask God what he is doing in our lives.

4. God is always with us, even in the deepest, darkest pits.
The writer of this story is quick and regular to remind us that “God was with Joseph.” And in the same way, he is always with us. That is the core of the gospel – that God, in Jesus Christ – came to us and still comes to us no matter how deep, no matter how dark. And if we are in Christ, there will come a day when all suffering will be gone. (Romans 8:18)

Listen to the talk recording: CLICK HERE.

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