You Can’t Change It, but God Can Use It

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”

Genesis 50:20 (NLT)

Remember the story of Joseph?

His brothers were jealous because he was the favorite son, so they sold Joseph into slavery. He was taken to Egypt, and for the first 40 years of his life, everything went wrong. He was sold into slavery, falsely accused of rape, and thrown in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.

For 40 years, nothing seemed to go right for Joseph—but God put Joseph exactly where he wanted him to be. He knew that Joseph would be raised up to become the second most powerful leader in Egypt, the most powerful nation in the world at that time. And because of that, Joseph was able to save Egypt and Israel from famine.

Not only did he save two nations from starvation, but he also saved his family—the ones who sold him into slavery. When his brothers appeared before him, Joseph could have confronted them and punished them for what they did to him.

But what was Joseph’s attitude toward his brothers? He treated them with grace, not bitterness. He was able to do that because he saw God’s greater perspective and purpose. He knew God could use even the biggest hurts in our lives for good.

Joseph said to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people” (Genesis 50:20 NLT). God took the terrible sin of Joseph’s brothers and used it to eventually save many people.

There will always be people in your life who have bad intentions, who will resent you, criticize you, and hurt you. There will be times when you are the innocent victim of someone else’s sin. There is no way around it.

You may not understand it—but you don’t have to! You can trust that God sees, he cares, and he will have justice. Like Joseph, maybe you can’t change your circumstances. And maybe you’re wondering how you’re going to make it through or what God is doing.

God can use everything, good or bad, to accomplish his purposes. His good plan to grow your character and make you more like Jesus will not be changed by other people. What others intend for bad, he will use for good.

Talk It Over

  • Sometimes we do not see how God is using our pain for good until many years later. What is an example of that from your life? What did you eventually learn about God through that painful situation?
  • Why are painful circumstances sometimes the best way for us to grow more like Jesus?
  • Where do you get the power to treat people who hurt you with grace and not bitterness? Can you do it on your own?

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.