You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
God Intended It for Good
When something bad happens to me randomly, I can usually handle it. I figure that God is in control, and he will cause everything to work together for my good.
But when someone intends to harm me and seems to succeed, it is harder for me to handle. I am tempted to lash out, to get revenge, to hold a grudge.
During the early history of God’s people in Israel, a man named Joseph was sold into slavery by his older brothers. He was taken to a foreign country and eventually thrown into prison on false charges. Later he was released from prison and ended up with a terrific amount of political and social power. He used that power to help many people survive a famine.
Then Joseph met his brothers again. It would have been understandable if he had lashed out, gotten revenge, and held a grudge. His brothers feared that and begged him for mercy.
Joseph showed mercy to his brothers. He explained why. Joseph understood his life from God’s perspective. He told his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
When people seem to harm me, it is good for me to remember what Joseph said. God is still in control, and his ultimate purpose is always to bring people to a knowledge of the truth that Jesus forgives them and is their Savior.
I may not always understand how God will make something good happen when he allows people to harm me, but it seems possible that eventually, they may be able to learn about forgiveness from Jesus through me.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Amen.