But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. “Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,” they said. So they sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he instructed us to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you—for their sin in treating you so cruelly.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.” When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept. Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. “Look, we are your slaves!” they said. But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them. Genesis 50:15-21 (NLT)
That is a very important word for you to consider. What is an important word for me to consider? Intended, is the word I want you to consider. You will have to say more to help me understand what you have in mind. Let me ask you a few questions. Go ahead, I’m listening. Has anyone ever intended to deliberately harm you? I can think of many times others have done things that have hurt and harmed me. Yes, that was their intended goal. In that situation you have two very different choices that you will have before you. What choices will be before me? You can be bitter and resentful. You can be angry and revengeful. With a heart filled with rage you can seek to pay back evil for evil, those who intended harm against you. I’m guessing that is not the best choice. You do have your sense of humor. Of course, it is not the best choice. Why is it not the best choice? Being bitter and resentful, and angry and revengeful, never accomplish your purposes, nor do they help me in anyway. Those negative thoughts, attitudes, and actions would only further harm me. That is correct.
What is the other better choice for me to make when others intend harm against me? That is a very good question. This may not occur to you, so I will make it clear to you. I will always bring good out of the bad, that is done against you. I am not the author of the bad done against you. It is not my plan that evil will be done against you. But know this, without out a doubt, whatever others intend for evil against you, I will redeem, and intend for good in your life. I will use all your experiences in life to accomplish my purposes and plans in you. So, now I will ask you, what is the better choice you will make when others do evil against you? I will look for and expect to see how you will even be able to use the evil done against me to accomplish your purposes and plans in my life. That is correct. Do this and you will see my hand working in and through your life, to accomplish my purposes and plans. That I will do. That will be very good.
Lord, evil has been done against me. I have been harmed by the actions of others. I will not attempt to pay back evil with evil. Instead, I will having a forgiving attitude. I will also look for and expect to see good you will bring out of evil done against me. Amen
Key Question… What good has God accomplished in your life through harm that was done against you?
Living It Out… Look for and expect that God will bring good out of evil done against you.
Seeing It Happen… Have faith that God will bring good out of the evil done against you.
Get Ready To Share… Share with another person or your small group how God has brought good out of evil done against you.
Prayer To Bless Others… May you come to know how God has used for good what others intended for evil.
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