Summary: When life isn't fair, put your faith in the Lord; be faithful to Him; and if things get worse, keep your faith in the Lord.

A young paratrooper learning to jump was given the following instructions: First, jump when you are told; second, count to 10 and pull the ripcord; third, in the unlikely event that it doesn't open, pull the ripcord for the backup chute; and fourth, when you get down, a truck will take you back to base.

The plane ascended up to the proper height, the men started peeling out, and the young paratrooper jumped when told. He counted to 10 and pulled the cord, but the chute failed to open. He proceeded to the backup plan. The second chute also failed to open. “Oh boy,” he said. “When I get down, I suppose the truck won't be there either.” (

Life doesn’t always go as planned. In fact, life is sometimes downright unfair. So what do you do in those times? What do you do when things don’t happen the way they should? What do you do when your dreams and plans are shot out the window? What do you do when life is unfair? Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Genesis 39, Genesis 39, where we see how Joseph handled himself when life was unfair to him.

Genesis 39:1 Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. (ESV)

Joseph’s brothers had sold him into slavery, and he ends up as a slave to Potiphar – “the captain of the guard” or Pharaoh’s chief executioner.

Genesis 39:2-6a The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had, in house and field. So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate. (ESV)

Joseph succeeded, because God was with Him. I’m sure he faithfully carried out the duties assigned to him, but his success is not attributed to his hard work or ingenuity; his success is attributed to the presence of God Himself. Verse 2 – “The LORD was with Joseph and he became a successful man.” Verse 3 – “The LORD was with him and… The LORD caused all that he did to succeed.” Verse 5 – “The LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake.”

The LORD was the reason for Joseph’s success, and He is the reason any of us succeed at anything. Jesus Himself said to his followers, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). On the other hand, He says, “If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit” (John 15:5). Any fruit we bear, any success we enjoy, comes from the Lord as we remain connected to Him. So when life is unfair…


Get connected to Christ and depend on His presence in your life. Trust God to give you success as you pursue His will for your life.

It’s the only thing that will keep you going when life knocks you for a loop. In fact, your faith in Christ is the only thing that will help you do better than your best even when life is unfair. You see, when people are unfairly treated, they’re tempted to give up, or to get by with the very least they can do. They’re certainly not encouraged to give life their best effort when they have been wrongly treated. But when your trust is in the Lord, like Joseph, then you can serve people well whatever the circumstances.

Several years ago (2008), Chris Downey had just started a promising architectural job at a successful design firm. A few weeks after he took the job, he noticed that there was something wrong with his vision. The doctors told him he had a tumor wrapped around his optic nerve, which required immediate surgery. After the surgery, he could see with blurred sight, but five days later everything went dark. Downey had become permanently blind.

Downey tried to maintain his architectural work, but he couldn't read the plans or use the design software. Initially, Downey's limitations jeopardized his job, until he found a blind computer scientist who had devised a way to read tactile architectural plans. Much to his surprise Downey discovered that his blindness actually gave him a unique way to “observe” interior spaces – not with his eyes, but with his fingers. As one of the company vice presidents would later say, “At first I thought, Okay, this is going to be a limitation. But then I realized that the way he reads drawings is… the way we experience space.”

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