You meant harm against me; God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones. Genesis 50:19–21
Joseph’s ability to see beyond the immediate cause of his misadventures years before, enabled him to be merciful and gracious to his antagonists. If we will learn to see the truth of all the hurtful events in our lives as Joseph saw his, bitterness will never creep into our hearts. We will be able to forgive, because we will perceive our enemies as God’s agents for good, not only to us, but also to many others as well. Joseph saw that God sovereignly acted for his good through the evil intentions of his brothers. Therefore he was able to continue to trust God during trials of his captivity, so that he persevered in his faith. He was able to trust in the promises God had made earlier in his life and in God’s sovereign ability to fulfill them, so that God’s sovereignty became a means for good, not revenge. Similarly, Jesus, when he was reviled did not revile in return; he forgave. As we acknowledge the wisdom and power of God as he acts through the trials our enemies insert into our lives, we will avoid the bitterness that will keep God’s grace from spreading from us to others.
O wise and mighty Ruler of all creation, remove the blinders of my pride, so I can see the larger purpose behind my pain, and can forgive the agents of your good who caused it. Amen.