Genesis 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
Now that Jacob (or Israel) was dead, the brothers feared revenge from Joseph. Could he really have forgiven them for selling him into slavery? But to their surprise, Joseph not only forgave them but reassured them, offering to care for them and their families. Joseph's forgiveness was complete. He demonstrated how God graciously accepts us even though we don't deserve it. Because God forgives us even when we have ignored or rejected him, we should graciously forgive others.
God brought good from the brothers' evil deed, Potiphar's wife's false accusation, the cup-bearer's neglect, and seven years of famine. The experiences in Joseph's life taught him that God brings good from evil for those who trust him. Do you trust God enough to wait patiently for him to bring good out of bad situations? You can trust him because, as Joseph learned, God can overrule people's evil intentions to bring about his intended results.
The life of Joseph was anything but peaceful. It was filled with youthful folly, broken dreams, and the mean-spirited actions of others. Yet he remained a man remarkable for his lack of bitterness or regret, always seeing God as the "Great Engineer" behind even the worst of circumstances. Genesis 50 and verse 20 shows us how we should view our struggles…through 50/20 vision.
What is 50/20 vision? The understanding that Joseph had concerning what he was going through. He knew that it was meant for evil, but God meant it for good in order to bring about a lasting victory. Regardless what you go through, ask God to help you see the struggle in light of Genesis 50:20, 50/20 vision.
In a final confrontation with his brothers, Joseph graciously noted, "You meant it for bad; God meant it for good."
The theology packed in that statement is astounding. 'God meant it for good means:
You can accept the past -- No sin, no action, no choice on your part is too big for God to handle – or too big to be worked for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His name. Just ask Joseph; Better yet, ask his fearful and famished brothers, who were forced to rely on him for survival.
You can embrace the present -- There's no need to play the 'what if' game. The past is gone, and no energy you expend will ever change it. The future is in God's omnipotent hands, so you're free to focus on the present. Your job is to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, trusting Him to forgive the past and transform the future. Martyred missionary Jim Eliot once wrote, "Wherever you are, be all there," not living in the past and not fantasizing about the future. God wants you in the present because that's where His grace will flow.
You can look expectantly toward the future -- Even if you make mistakes today, God still controls your future. Walking in the Spirit, you can live life to the fullest, unafraid of making mistakes and unconcerned you may stumble into some terrible circumstance that takes you out of God's control. Even when things appear to be terrible, you can trust that God is working out some divine plan through you.
· No matter how bad things get -- God is still able to bring good out of it. Today, thank God that nothing – no disaster, no delay – is bigger that his ability to turn it into something good and godly.
· Thank God and let go - Thank God that He is sovereign over your past, your present, and your future.
· Give God the circumstances, disasters, hindrances, hurts, and sins from your past;
· Give God your current situation, your disasters, hindrances, hurts, and sins of today;
· Praise God that he can work anything in your future for godly good, that you can walk in confidence that there is nothing anyone can do to you, or anything you can do that will be beyond the reach of God's Grace and redemption.
· Look for God's hand -- Walking by faith means you see God's hand even in the most difficult of circumstances. You trust in his ability and his willingness to transform the bad into godly good. God is not limited by people's motives; in other words, it does not matter why someone hurt you, God can still transform a deliberate, mean-spirited situation into something for his good. So today, why don't you purposely look for and recognize the Divine Presence of God. Regardless how you FEEL, know that God is in the middle of the FIRE with you, just like He was in the Old Testament story of the Three Hebrew Children.
· What will you allow God to change? – There it is: some situation, or event, or person in your life who, as far as you can tell, 'meant it for bad.' How do you think God meant it for good? Ask God what he wants you to do with this situation (event or person). When he answers, do it. God used Joseph's pain from his family to save his family from pain and starvation. God will use your current pain to help someone who is in pain. That you can count on.
I pray today that we will begin to look at our current situation with 50/20 vision. Yes, it might have been meant for evil…BUT GOD isn't finished working yet! He is the AUTHOR and the FINISHER of our faith. He is the ALPHA and OMEGA, the BEGINNING and the END.
Philippians 1:6 says that we can be CONFIDENT of this, that He that BEGAN a good work in you will COMPLETE it until the day of Jesus Christ. God always FINISHES what He starts! He's still working in you and for you!
"Lord there are things that we all face that the enemy brings along to try to destroy us. His purpose is to stop us in our tracks, and to give up all hope of completing God's plan in our life. Joseph faced attack after attack, but he kept his faith in You, AND his HOPE remained constant. Why? Because he had 50/20 vision, 'this thing was meant for evil, but God will turn it around for good. I choose to live that way today. In Jesus' name, amen!"