You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20)
Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery which led him to Egypt and his unjust incarceration. But God orchestrated these events to eventually put Joseph in a position of power second only to Pharaoh.
When his brothers needed Joseph to save their lives, they understandably feared that Joseph would choose to retaliate. But Joseph did the unexpected. He forgave them and claimed that “God intended” all his hardship “for good.”
Of course, it’s unlikely that Joseph ever described his circumstances as a slave and prisoner as “good.” But looking back over the course of many years, he could see how God used his suffering for a greater redemptive purpose.
One day, you and I will be able to do the same, if not on this side of eternity, then the other. That truth doesn’t make the pain we feel today any less real or horrible. But it does give us hope.
What hardships are you experiencing in this season of work? Have you lost a job? Been a victim of injustice? Or are you simply not as far along in your career as you once dreamed? Trust in the hope that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).
How can you be certain of this truth? First, by looking at Joseph. And second, by looking at the One Joseph points to.
Like Joseph, Jesus was sold by his brothers and unjustly imprisoned. But Jesus went even further, letting “the soldiers hold and nail him down so that he could save them.” God used the crucifixion—the darkest moment in history—for good. Thus, we can be confident that he will make good on his promise to work our hardships—infinitesimally small compared to Christ’s—for our good and his glory.
Rejoice in that concrete hope today!