"God intended it for good"

Bible Reading: Genesis 47:29-31; 48; 49; 50

"And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you" (45:5).

"When their message came to him, Joseph wept. …But 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" (50:17b, 19-21).

It is comforting to know that God can turn the hurts and abuses in our lives into something good. The evil intentions of others cannot thwart God's plan for our lives. God is in control, and he can work even the worst of situations into something good. God used the many wrongs Joseph suffered during his lifetime to put him in a position to save thousands of lives. Joseph's suffering also appears to have increased his faith in God and molded his character. When he was in a position to retaliate against his brothers, he wept for them, spoke kindly to them, and reassured them that they were completely forgiven. Joseph not only forgave them, but he wanted them to be able to forgive themselves also.

May I, too, develop an attitude of forgiveness and love toward those who would harm me, trusting God to work out what's best in their lives, as well as my own. May I trust God, not to prevent hardship, but to accomplish something good from any hardship as I yield control of my life to him.