At the end of the book of Genesis there is a very interesting exchange between Joseph and his brothers.
“When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died, ‘Say to Joseph, Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 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. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” (Genesis 50:15-21)
After the death of Jacob, Joseph’s brothers are fearful that he will now take vengeance on them for the wickedness done to him so many years ago. The guilt for their actions still weighs heavy upon them and they fear that Joseph’s emotions still run as deep.
When confronted with these fears, Joseph weeps. He tells his brothers that he does not sit in God’s place, nor does he desire to harm them. For while they meant to bring harm to him, God meant to use it to do good for many.
We need to look beyond ourselves when bad things happen to us. No matter what happens in our lives, even in the darkest moments, God can use it to bring about good. Joseph realizes all of the good things that would not have been possible if he had not been forced into those difficult situations. We need to equally be aware that just because something bad has happened does not mean that something bad has to be the end result. How we handle those situations can make all the difference in the world.
Live Joseph’s attitude and see how it impacts everyone around you.