Working It Out

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” -Genesis 50:20

Joseph endured a lot. He was betrayed by his brothers, framed for a crime he did not commit, and thrown into prison to be forgotten about. However, a story with God at the center never ends in isolation. Life, and the people in it seemed set on harming Joseph, on bringing evil and darkness and isolation into his life. But what man intends for evil, God will use for good if we let him. 

Notice that the verse does not say that God intended the evil to happen. God does not intend for us to betray one another, to kill one another, to hate or discriminate against one another. God does not intend for harm to happen to us, but if we allow him, and if we remain faithful to him, he will use that oppression for good, specifically the good of others.

Another way we misunderstand this often used Christian phrase is we think it means that God works things out for our good and ours alone. Yes, Joseph prospered in his new position working under Pharaoh, but notice again what the verse actually says. “God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” 

The good that God was working out in Joseph’s life, and the good he is currently working out in your life, it isn’t just about you. God turns our darkness into light so that we can shine it on others and bring them out of their isolation and brokenness.

Yes, God works out all things for the good of those who love him, but that doesn’t just refer to you or to me. He’s working it out for all of us.

PRAYER: Dear God, I thank you that you do not allow evil to have the final word. I thank you that you are working out all things for good. I pray that you would help me to remain faithful in every moment, so that I may see the good that you want to accomplish despite, and because of the brokenness in my life. I pray that as you bring light out of my darkness, that you would help me to shine that light on all of those around me.

Erin Jorgenson