Read Genesis 50:20-21
"'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. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.' Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them."
How has Joseph suffered? How has God provided for Joseph?
Sin is essentially an act of pride, of selfishness. Rather than doing something God's way, acting sinfully is acting our own way. And ever since sin entered the world all the forms of suffering and evil we're familiar with has had a powerful impact on all of us. When men and women decided to act in their own self-interest (sinfully), the world suffers as a result.
God has promised that when He returns He'll restore peace to the earth. But why is He waiting? Why did Jesus take it as a given that His servants would suffer at the hands of others? He tells us point blank, "here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows" (John 16:33, NLT). Couldn't He have said, "now that you are my servants, you'll never feel pain again"?
Suffering may be the result of sin and our pride (we can't blame God for our sins) but it is also one of God's greatest tools in this world. Time and again throughout history, what started as a tragedy turned out to be a demonstration of God's great power and mercy.
The first chapters Genesis, the first book of the Bible, tell of evil entering the world. But the last chapters of Genesis show God's power in turning suffering into good. Joseph was hated by his brothers and so they sold him into slavery. He was wrongfully accused of attempted rape in Egypt and spent several years in prison for it. But Joseph never forgot about God, and God never forgot about Joseph. Joseph died as second-in-command of Egypt and was responsible for saving thousands of lives in a terrible famine.
What Joseph told his brothers was true, "God turned into good what you meant for evil" (Genesis 50:20, NLT). And that will hold true until God comes again.
Lord Jesus, open my eyes to any actions that may be causing pain to others. Give me the courage to make things right. Thank you for your forgiveness. Amen.