“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
For years, I acted like an orphan forced to endure a harsh and merciless world alone. I didn’t consider that God was watching over me and was focused on my good. My misguided mentality caused me to hold tight to offenses, and tempted me to retaliate rather than forgive.
I routinely demonstrated my lack of trust in God’s ability to work all things together for my good. (Rom. 8:28).
Had I been Joseph, the ancient Hebrew turned slave then prisoner, then Egypt’s second in command, I fear my response would’ve been drastically different than the one recorded in today’s verse. While lying at the bottom of a cistern, I would’ve fumed at how my brothers, who’d thrown me in, had completely destroyed my God-given dreams for leadership.
My anger would’ve increased while serving as a slave in Egypt, for surely my brothers were to blame. With every offense, and Joseph endured many, I’m afraid my bitterness, my helplessness, would’ve only grown. I fear it would’ve become nearly insurmountable when, decades later, I stood in front of my betrayers, holding within my hands the power to destroy them.
But not Joseph. Instead, he blessed them, because he understood and had learned to rest in God’s sovereignty. Therefore, it didn’t matter how others treated him. Because He knew His life, from beginning to end, was in the hands of a loving, attentive, and faithful God.
The same is true for us. We’re not orphans, victims to our circumstances and other’s poor behavior. We belong to a loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God who is, at this moment, working all things out for our good and His glory.
May we daily rest in that truth and the freedom it creates.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, hosts Life Audio’s Faith Over Fear podcast, is the author of eight contemporary novels including her recently released Building a Family and helped write Wholly Loved’s Bible study based on the life of Sarai (Gen. 12-23) titled Becoming His Princess, available for free (in ebook form) from Wholly Loved Ministries. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com.
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