Exchanging bad for good

by | Aug 12, 2023 | August 2023 | 0 comments

A line from an old country song says if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. Another old saying is that bad things come in threes. Sometimes life is like that. We often think of Job when lots of troubles hit someone at once, but Joseph also experienced a run of what you might call bad luck. First his jealous brothers planned his death, but relented and decided to sell him into slavery instead. Then he was thrown in prison after being falsely accused of seducing his boss’s wife. He languished there for a long time before his God-given ability to interpret the Pharaoh’s dream gave him a reprieve. 

Joseph must have experienced the normal human emotions during these trials, but his thoughts weren’t recorded, so we don’t know exactly what he was thinking. We know what we would be thinking, don’t we? When our troubles get us down and it seems like the bad news just keeps coming, we can be encouraged not only by his happy ending, but by what he told his brothers upon revealing his identity to them. In Genesis 50:20 (NIV), we read: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

The parallel to what happened to Jesus is unmistakable. An angry, fearful, jealous and self-righteous humanity meant (and did) all kinds of harm to Jesus, but God meant it all for good, and for the saving of innumerable lives. Things looked pretty bleak after Joseph was put in a dungeon – and to the disciples, the Saturday before the resurrection seemed the bleakest time in history. But just as God made provision for Joseph, the plan for Jesus was life, life and more life – for him and for all of us. We can rest knowing God always means good for us, no matter what happens, and he will exchange all the bad for very good. 


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