“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
—Genesis 50:20 ESV
Joseph said these words to his brothers, the very ones who had sold him into slavery, after their father Jacob died. They came to Joseph and begged him for mercy, fearful that he would take vengeance on them now that their father was no longer alive.
Joseph’s response shows that he understood a crucial truth: in the midst of his pain and suffering as a slave and a prisoner in Egypt, God was working out a greater plan.
This is not shallow positivity: Joseph didn’t deny the fact that his brothers committed a horrible deed. He recognized that they “meant evil” in what they did.
But despite that reality, Joseph was able to see past his own pain and discover that even in the worst of circumstances God was at work.
Centuries later Paul would write something similar in his letter to the Romans: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Rom. 8:28 NLT).
Not everything that happens to us is good, and we shouldn’t pretend that it is.
But we can be sure of this: as we pursue the purpose of God for our life he will cause everything to work together as part of his plan, which is “good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2 ESV).
Carry this simple prayer with you today:
Breathe in: God, help me see:
Breathe out: You’re using this for good.