Joseph was appointed to lead at the worst possible time. A severe famine tore through the nations. No rain led to no plants led to no meat led to people starving to death. The situation was severe as sickness swept over the world. The famine was particularly tough in Joseph’s hometown, where his father and brothers were barely scraping by.
Jacob, Joseph’s father, sent his sons to Egypt because the Egyptian food storage program was the best in the world. These brothers heard that Egypt stored enough food to feed multiple nations at the command of their leader (the brother they sold into slavery).
The brothers sought out the familiar-looking ruler to ask for some food. When Joseph stood face-to-face with his brothers, his heart sank. He gulped when they bowed to their knees, which fulfilled the dream Joseph shared in his youth.
Joseph not only gave them food, but he ultimately made his way back to his hometown to reconnect with his father. Fast-forward through two journeys between Canaan and Egypt, and Joseph received a family blessing just before his father’s death. After the funeral, the brothers assumed that Joseph would be full of wrath and ready to kill them. It’s a logical assumption since they betrayed him and sold him into slavery when he was just a boy.
The conversation probably sounded something like this. “He was probably just keeping it cool for dad, but now he’s going to murder us. Our brother is a king; I am sure he has a decent sword somewhere.” Joseph’s brothers bowed before him and begged for mercy. With compassion in his voice, he encouraged them to stand up. “Don’t be afraid,” he said.
Joseph continued, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (Genesis 50:20).
God can flip the script of your life. Things that were meant to harm you can ultimately help you. People may have hurt you, betrayed you, abandoned you, or sent evil your way. But God will ultimately bring hope out of that hurt.
It doesn’t mean that what happened was good. Not at all. The pain Joseph experienced was real. The hurt they caused was real. His forgiveness didn’t minimize their wrongs; it magnified God’s goodness. Whenever we face hardship, God is ready to redeem it. Whenever we experience affliction, God will heal those scars. It doesn’t mean that what happened was good. It means that God can bring good from it.
There will be a miracle on the other side of your misery.