By Kat Clark
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” —Genesis 50:20
These words were spoken by Joseph to his brothers after the death of their father, Israel. Joseph’s brothers had deeply wronged him, even selling him into slavery. On his death bed, Israel asks Joseph to have mercy on his brothers and forgive them their sins.
We may wonder how Joseph could forgive his brothers and treat them with kindness after all they had done against him. I think this question can be answered with two words: but God. We think of so many things we cannot do in our own strength, but God is all-powerful, and our strength comes through Him.
Joseph also recognized that although his brothers intended to harm him, God could use all things for good. We go through valleys and hardships. We are hurt by circumstances, other fallible humans, the enemy, and even ourselves. But God can use our trials for good. Sometimes, a painful season is a period of development getting us ready for our destiny.
The words but God are very powerful. I say them to myself often when doubts or hopelessness creep in. For example, I feel so alone right now, but God is with me. I feel like I’m not enough, but God created me in His image. I can’t face this right now, but God goes before me and lights my path. These two words can change our perspective. These two words can change everything.
The next time you find yourself feeling alone or hopeless, the next time you beat yourself up for your shortcomings, the next time it all seems too much, remember but God.
We thank you for always being with us and lighting the path before us. We know that even what is intended to harm, You can use for good. You are our strength and our hope. Please help us to forgive those who have wronged us and forgive ourselves for our shortcomings. Please help us to remember that all situations and circumstances pass through Your mighty hands. In Your mighty name, Amen.