Focus: Not wasting our trials
Genesis 50:20 (NKJV) But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
There is a story in the Bible of a boy who seemed to have it all. He was the apple of his father’s eye and he knew it. His name was Joseph. He had eleven brothers, and from the way the story is told, Joseph kinda enjoyed using his position as ‘the favorite’, to ‘rat’ on his brothers.
Joseph’s father loved him so much, he did special things for Joseph—like making him a richly ornamented coat of fine materials, much nicer than what his other sons had, and similar to what royalty would wear. This really bugged Joseph’s brothers a lot.
When Joseph had a couple of dreams hinting that he would become his brothers and his parents ‘superior’—Joseph’s brothers were ‘over it’. They wanted to kill him and get him out of their lives.
A day came, when all of the brothers were out tending their father’s sheep. Joseph’s brothers were seriously plotting about how they could get rid of him. One of the brothers who loved Joseph, was worried about him. He talked the others into putting Joseph in a pit, instead of killing him–thinking he would come back later and let him go.
Instead, Joseph wound up getting sold to some traveling merchants as a slave. Joseph’s brothers told their father he had been killed by a wild animal. They even soaked his beautiful coat in some animal blood to make their story more convincing. Joseph was only seventeen at the time.
(Read more below)
NOW, YOU CAN LISTEN AND/OR READ!
For a lot of years, Joseph’s brothers may have had some pretty mixed feelings about what they had done. The Bible doesn’t directly say that they became depressed and turned to drugs and alcohol, but you can imagine they probably had a hard time swallowing their shame, when they saw how their father grieved for the son he had lost.
Getting rid of their brother didn’t make their father love the brothers any more than before. Now they had to live a lie and deal with their guilt. God couldn’t have been pleased with what had been done, but He always likes to take a sorry story to a good ending.
For a total of 13 years, Joseph spent time in Egypt, as a servant and in prison. Through those years, his brothers had no idea what had happened to him. It turned out that even while Joseph was a servant and in prison, God blessed him.
One night the Pharoah had a perplexing dream, and Joseph was given the opportunity to give the Pharoah an interpretation. God revealed to Joseph that the dream meant there would be seven years of plenty, and then a widespread famine that would also last seven years. Joseph advised Pharoah to harvest and store food during the seven years of plenty before the famine hit, so he could save his nation. The Pharoah was so convinced Joseph was right, he made Joseph his right hand man—a Governor.
During the years of plenty, everything was done just as Joseph had recommended. When the famine came, Joseph’s brothers showed up in Egypt, wanting food. They didn’t recognize Joseph at first, but the bottom line is—Joseph’s dreams were right. Joseph’s family was in a position of desperate need. After a series of events, Joseph finally told his brothers who he was, forgave them—and because of his position—he was able to provide a new life for his father, his brothers, and their families.
This account has been used throughout history, to show what can happen when someone who has been wronged is willing to forgive. Ongoing ‘issues’ in your life may be tied to a situation in your past that didn’t go well–and was never really resolved. It’s so easy to believe that things can’t improve if they have been let go for a long time.
Declaration: I will find new strength in no longer allowing evil to triumph in my circumstances. I release my will in the situation that concerns me, to the will of God. I believe He is able to bring my sorry story to a good ending…and possibly save lives because of it.