Genesis 50:20 (KJV) 20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Joseph’s brothers wronged him and his Dad terribly. By selling Joseph, and making it appear to their father as if he had been devoured by a wild beast, causing Joseph and their Dad to be separated for years, were horrible acts of evil. After many years, their paths crossed again. Joseph forgave them, invited them and welcomed them to live in very close proximity with him. He gave them the best of the land to dwell in. But after their father died, the brothers feared for their lives. They guiltily presumed that Joseph’s forgiveness was conditioned to their father’s existence. But in their extreme fear, Joseph uttered these comforting and assuring words of forgiveness. But they also revealed Joseph’s “worldview” that enabled him to extend such difficult yet precious, true, and lasting forgiveness that definitely brought peace to his brothers. He looked at everything that has happened in view of the sovereignty of God Who worked out everything, even his the brothers’ unthinkable evil intentions and actions, to bring about the wondrous good of saving many lives.
The greater the offense, the harder it is for many of us to extend forgiveness. We ought to live free, and the way to live it is to let go of anything destructive – especially those that have the ability to consume us to the very core and pull us down to unfruitfulness. Unforgiveness can stall us and keep us from reaching our utmost potential. When we forgive, we sever whatever lingering hold our offenders may still have in us. To not forgive is to allow them to keep on effectively offending us long after their acts of offense. To forgive more easily, we ought to believe God’s sovereignty truthfully. God’s sovereignty is neither a license nor an excuse for evil, but it gives us a wider perspective; it shows us that no matter what people do to us, God has a way and will make a way so that even the worst of treatments we receive, God already has great good planned for them.
Sovereign Savior, may we always remember that as we faithfully live for you, there will be many things that will happen to us that we don’t have control over. There will be dreadful times when we will be badly treated. Please help us to always remember that You won’t allow anything to happen unless You have something so good already purposed for them. In Jesus’ Name, amen.