Someone recently asked me, "Where is God when bad things happen and why do they happen? All I could think was, "what the enemy meant for evil God used for good." Genesis 50:20
The Holy Spirit had, indeed, led me back to the story of Joseph as I considered his famous quote. Joseph was one of twelve brothers. He was his father's favorite son.(Gen. 37:3) Joseph had a dream that he would rule over everyone in his household. (Gen. 37:5-6) This angered his brothers. So they beat him and threw him into a hole. They really wanted to kill him, but one of the brothers made them reconsider doing that. (Gen. 37: 17-24)I Instead he was sold as a slave to Egypt. (Gen 37:28)
Once there, Joseph became the captain of Pharaoh's guard's slave. His master's name was Potiphar. (Gen 38:1) God was with Joseph and blessed everything he did. Eventually he was promoted to being in charge of all of Potiphar's household.
One day Potiphar was called to duty. He left Joseph in charge of everything, except for his wife. Potiphar's wife was not a faithful woman. She accused Joseph of sexually assaulting her because he refused to have relations with her. (Gen 39:7-8)
has something like that happened to you? Perhaps you stood for something that was right and paid a dear consequence for it. Well it happened to Joseph that way. Unbelievable as it may seem, Joseph was thrown into jail for a very long time. (Gen. 39:20)
But God was with Joseph in prison and He granted Joseph favor in the warden's eyes. (Gen 39:21-22) Soon Joseph was in charge of all the prisoners and he was responsible for all that happened there. because GOD was with him. (Gen 39:23
When the king's cupbearer and baker were thrown in prison with him; they both had disturbing dreams. Joseph interpreted them for the royal servants. He said one would live, but the other would be hanged. He asked the one who would live to remember what he (Joseph) had done for him when he is set free. (Gen. 40:12-22) Well, guess what? He forgot all about Joseph. (Gen. 40: 23)
Two years later Pharaoh had a dream. No one could interpret it. So the cupbearer told Pharaoh about Joseph and how he had correctly interpreted his dream. Pharaoh sent for Joseph. (Gen 41:1-14) At first joseph confessed that HE could not interpret, only GOD could do that! 9Gen 41:16) This is very important. When ever we take on anything. We must know that it is not in our own strength that we are successful . All the glory goes to God for accomplishing great things through us!
So God, through Joseph, interpreted Pharaoh's dream and told him there would be a great famine in the land. It will last seven years. It would be very severe. (Gen. 41:29)
Then Joseph had a plan to save the people; he told Pharaoh to appoint men to collect extra food during the seven good years that they will have food for the famine. Pharaoh saw that Joseph was wise and put him in charge of all of Egypt. He was second only to Pharaoh. (gen 41:17-40)
So it ended up that Joseph, who had a dream himself of being a ruler over all, did indeed become ruler over all his brothers and his father. Now when his brothers were forced by the famine to go to Egypt to buy food, Joseph recognized them.
Think about it, how would you react if a family member wronged you in such a way as Joseph's brothers did? In our flesh, we probably would not handle it well.
But because God was always with Joseph, he wasn't bitter about his experience. He forgave his brothers and wept with them. Then he called for all of his family to move to Egypt where the Pharaoh himself would give them land. They would finally be together again. (Gen 45:4-28)
It was at Joseph's death that he summarized God's constant care despite horrible circumstances, and how those circumstances had to happen to get Joseph where he was. It was then that he spoke, "What you meant for evil, God used for good." You see, we aren't defined by the trauma in our lives. We are defined by God who brings victory and healing into our lives. God loves His children and He takes good care of us, just as He did Joseph.