“You planned evil against me, but God planned it for good.” Genesis 50:20.
These words, when taken purely at face value, are beautiful and reassuring. To know that good can come out of even the darkest of circumstances is a reassurance that all who trust in God enjoy. The story behind this verse proves this fact even more.
Joseph, the person who spoke these words, was a man who endured a great deal of hardship in his life. He was beaten and sold into slavery by his brothers, accused and imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, and forgotten by the one person who vowed to help free him from prison. As bad as all of this must have been, Joseph remained faithful to God. When the Pharaoh of Egypt was being plagued by nightmares, Joseph was called upon because of his ability to interpret dreams. He successfully interpreted that Pharaoh’s dream was a warning of an impending famine and urged Pharaoh and the Egyptians to begin stockpiling food. Pharaoh was so impressed with Joseph that Joseph became second-in-command over all of Egypt.
When the famine came, Egypt was ready. There was so much stockpiled food in Egypt that people from all over the afflicted areas were able to come and get aid, and among those seeking aid were none other than Joseph’s brothers, the very same brothers who had resented him and sold him into slavery years before. When Joseph and his brothers were finally reunited, the brothers were worried that Joseph would use his power and authority to repay the harm they had done to him, but Joseph’s faith in God allowed him to forgive all their wrongdoings. Joseph understood that his brothers’ actions were all part of God’s plan. The series of events that transpired after Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery ultimately resulted in him being placed in a position to save his entire family from starving to death. Joseph’s faith allowed him to see the big picture and to see the good that was the end result.
We must have that same level of faith that Joseph had. No matter how dark and dire our circumstances may seem, we must realize that God is in control and He will bring about good. Our world is a fallen world and terrible things do occur, but our God is good. He does not allow evil to go unchecked. He will always cause good to triumph over evil. We must hold to this truth in the midst of everything we endure, even during times when we are unable to see the bright side of the picture.