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“And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive” (Gen. 50:20).
This verse is the central theme of the Joseph narratives in Genesis 37-50. Joseph suffered according to the will of God and entrusted his life to the faithful Creator (I Pe. 4:19). He would leave all the righting of wrongs to God, repaying evil with forgiveness and affection (Lk. 6:27ff.). After all, “the Lord has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil” (Prov. 16:4).
Nothing occurs outside the sovereign hand of your good God. And every occurrence is superintended by God so that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to whose who are called according to His purpose” (Ro. 8:28). The difficulty is not with God and His works, but with your fallen understanding of God’s ways and means.
Commit yourself to analyze all of life from God’s eternal perspective. As your vision is transformed from an earthly perspective to a heavenly awareness, you will become enabled to identify His hand, and you will mature in your appreciation for God’s ways (Isa. 55:8f.).
God says, “See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all men” (I Thess. 5:15). You cannot fulfill this command until you begin to mature in your trust for God’s goodness and His willing ability to gift you only with goodness even when your circumstances appear to deny you His goodness (Job 39:11f.). Joseph’s forgiveness was the result of recognizing God’s hand in his enslavement, his imprisonment and his absence from his father.
Joseph’s would-be circumstantial assassins were the instruments of God to reveal Joseph’s pride and prepare him for the task of delivering two nations from life’s famines.
Joseph’s recognition of God’s lovingkindness (hesed) overrode any antagonistic feelings toward his brothers. God carries out the vengeance, you process the forgiveness – if you cannot forgive, then your sanctification is lacking.
God wants your life to make the statement that you live for something and someone greater than yourself. Your life is purposed to influence your world with a vision for God’s heaven. Stand with Job declaring, “I know that Thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).
God is not going to gift you with mighty matters until you have proven yourself in the lesser affairs. Obey today where you are, and you shall experience God’s advance.
“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone… Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Ro. 12:17-21).