"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." Genesis 50:20
This is one of those verses that I used to quote or hear quoted a lot. I am pretty certain that for a long time I didn't actually realize where the verse was found, or the story to which it was connected. These words came out of Joseph's mouth, but what stands out to me today is how easily we could perceive this verse being spoken by Jesus Himself.
I want you to picture Joseph (long story short) surrounded by his brothers after all has been said and done. He has revealed his identity to them, had his entire family brought to Egypt...happily ever after was in the making. However, after Jacob the father died, the brothers were concerned that Joseph's good will toward them might cease. They were afraid that he might actually make them pay for what they had done. He didn't. He spoke the words above and taught them (and us) how to accept God's will with grace, not begrudging another for being the catalyst in the plan.
Now I want you to picture the Lord being mocked and beaten, being nailed to a cross in shame. Then listen to His Words: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." He saw through the immediate pain and whose hands were causing it. He knew that those men meant evil against Him, but that His Father meant it for good. He knew that just as Joseph had been sent ahead to save others, He had been sent to save.
While Joseph's brothers were angry with him and unrepentant of their actions, God set a plan in motion to save them. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Who am I to question the Lord's plan and purpose in my pain? We never know who the Lord is reaching out to through our trials. Let us be willing to remain faithful to the end, in hope that He can use whatever we go through to save someone else.
Father, I know that You can use my triumphs but also my trials, so I surrender all to You. I trust You to take whatever was meant for evil against me and bring good out of it. Thank You for Your redemptive power. In Jesus' Name. Amen.