There was a guy, he began to have strange dreams of he and his family being sheaves, and the rest of his brothers bowing down to him. They hated him for it. He had another dream that the sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed down to him. The brothers hated the thought even more. They took an opportunity and sold their brother into slavery.
He ended up in Egypt—he was as far away from home as he could get. He was sold to a Captain of the Guard, named Potipher. Through a shady conviction of rape and scandal, brought forth by Potipher’s wife, Joseph was thrown in Jail. He endured years in prison to be called out to interpret a dream of Pharaoh’s. He did it and Pharaoh made him his right-hand man. This guy went on to manage Egypt’s food system and helped them save up enough food to help everyone endure the worst famine the country had ever seen.
The brothers of the man came to Egypt begging for food and through a series of events, they learn that this man is their brother who they sold into slavery and passed off to their father as dead many years before. The man’s name: Joseph. For the full, unabridged, story check out Genesis 37-50. Joseph is presented with an opportunity to punish, humiliate, and even kill his brothers who hurt him, but instead, he responds with one of the most beautiful verses in the entire Bible:
“But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 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. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them” (Gen. 50:19-21).
Did you catch the phrase “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” Amazing.
How many times, when trials, when the really tough stuff comes our way to do we view it through the eyes of Joseph. I have found strength in through this passage of Scripture more times than I can remember. How? It helps me see that God is in charge. He is the one directing not only the affairs of my life, but the affairs of the entire world. He is sovereign.
Though trials may come, illness may strike, and death should take away all that we love., we can cling tightly to the promise that God works out all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). God can take the worst situations, the most unspeakable of tragedies and completely reverse them to change lives. God is the one who can make beauty from pain, beauty from ashes. God is the creator, the sustainer, and the renewer of all His creation.
I can testify to that fact—that He has blessed me with the privilege of serving Him—He called me out of the gutter (quite literally) from a drug-addicted, drug pushing, anti-God lifestyle…and all those hurtful things I have done to myself, to others, and to Him, He made them turn out for the good….turned it into something beautiful. Talk about amazing. Just something to think about.