‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.’ Genesis 50:20 NLT
At seventeen, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. At thirty, Pharaoh made him ruler of Egypt. During those thirteen years, Joseph suffered terribly at the hands of his brothers. Now he held the power of life and death over them. Yet he chose not only to forgive them but to feed them in the time of famine. It’s one of the greatest examples of forgiveness in history. As they stand trembling before him, Joseph says: ‘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 50:20–21 NLT)
Notice four things:
(1) Only God understands people’s hearts, therefore only He is qualified to judge them.
(2) As you become more mature, you’ll be able to see the hand of God at work in some of the situations you’ve been through; you’ll see the ‘good’ in them rather than the evil.
(3) Because you have grown spiritually, you’ll acknowledge that others are capable of growing and changing too.
(4) Because of the favor and blessing that God has given you, you’ll not only speak kindly to your offender but be generous towards them. Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.’ (Matthew 5:44 NKJV) Are you willing to do that? Are you at least willing to pray, ‘Lord, make me willing?’