“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Genesis 50:20
Evil is very real in the world. But God is on the throne, and that means that evil never has the last word.
If you look at the story of Joseph from the perspective of what people did, it is a story of one evil after another. His brothers hated him, put him in a pit, and sold him as a slave. Potiphar’s wife tempted him, lied about him, and caused him to be put in prison. The cupbearer received a blessing from him, forgot about him, and kept him in prison for two more years.
If you look at your life, you can probably come up with a list of evils that have been done against you—people who have hurt you, disappointed you, and let you down. And if that is all you see, you will end up being a very miserable person. So, consider the example of Joseph.
Joseph is fully aware of the evils that were done against him: “You meant it for evil.” But his mind is filled with something, or rather Someone who is greater by far: “God meant it for good.” Joseph looks beyond what the brothers did, beyond what Potiphar’s wife did, and beyond what the cupbearer didn’t do. He says, “Look at what God did!”
Out of all that pain comes a life that looks like Jesus! This is the great truth of Romans 8: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (8:28).
What is the “good” that all things work together for? “Those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” (8:29). God’s great purpose is to multiply the image of the Son He loves.
Will you trust God today to use the pain in your life for the good of conforming you to the image of Jesus Christ?