Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28
Have you ever read the story of Joseph? It’s quite a long story, some twelve chapters, at the end of the book of Genesis, but it’s exciting. In fact it has everything that you’d want in a story, twists and turns, tragedy and struggle, and of course the happy ending. The basic story line is this that Joseph is mistreated by so many people in his life, though he has done nothing wrong. And yet God elevates him to a position of authority in the end.
In fact Joseph suffers much. Death threats from his brothers, to selling him into slavery, to accusations, to being thrown into prison wrongfully, to being forgotten, but yet in the end God brings him to this position of power to preserve the lives of so many people by storing away food for a famine that is coming.
At the very end of Joseph’s life, after his father has died, his brothers are worried that maybe Joseph’s gonna now use his power against them, but Joseph says this
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good. (Genesis 50:20)
You see as Joseph looked back at his life, as he saw all that suffering that he went through, he saw God’s good plan and purpose. That God was using it for his good. Certainly there must have been times in Joseph’s life though when he wondered “why is this happening to me? “What have I done wrong? Is God punishing me?” God wasn’t punishing him, rather he was using the evil intention of so many people to carry out this purpose of saving also many people.
That’s an important point too, to see that God didn’t just say “Joseph, okay, you’re gonna suffer now because later I’m gonna make you rich and famous,” no he elevated him to this position in order to save people not the least of which was the line of the Messiah. To preserve that line that the Messiah might come and through him save the world.
God doesn’t always tell us why we suffer in our lives, but he does tell us this in Romans chapter 8 verse 28
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
And we really need look no further than the cross to see the truth of this passage and in the midst of evil, suffering, and death, God used that all for his good purpose of eternal salvation. Be comforted in these words even in the midst of your own suffering to know that God is working it together for the good of those who love him. For your good, amen.