Read: Genesis 42–45

God sent me here before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. Genesis 45:7–8a

God has a plan. That is what Joseph said to his brothers. Selling Joseph into slavery was not a result of his brothers’ hateful intentions, rather it was God’s way of ensuring that God’s people found preservation in the land of Egypt. Because Joseph was taken to Egypt and rose to power there, when famine engulfed the land, Joseph could provide safe haven for his entire family. Bad intentions led to a good outcome—that may be the real truth of this story.

The idea that the unfortunate things that happen to us in life are all a part of God’s plan might be a naïve way of looking at life. It is a way of holding out hope that our misfortune is just a prelude to greater blessing. It is well worth questioning whether the bad things that happen to us in life are part of God’s design, but the Bible and our life experiences teach us that God certainly has the ability to bring wonderful outcomes out of the worst circumstances.

Think of a time when an unfortunate circumstance led to a great blessing.

Lord, I struggle to think that You intend bad things to happen to Your people. Through the life of Jesus, and the many Christian witnesses that have followed, we are told of Your infinite love and care. Your plan for our lives does not include harm, but even when we are injured You are able to preserve us and restore us in the most remarkable of ways. Thank You for bringing good outcomes out of bad situations. In Jesusname, I pray. AMEN.