What you meant for evil, God meant for good.
Nothing is beyond God’s control. That is a powerful and challenging sentiment. It challenging because if drawn out to the extreme it makes it seem as if God doesn’t act when his people are hurting, sick, or in need. It is powerful because God is. God is ever-powerful. Nothing that happens in this world is beyond his control. Even the choices we make – God is able to use for good.
Take a look at Genesis 50:15-20. In this story, Joseph forgives his brothers. His brothers sold Joseph into slavery because they were jealous of him. Joseph never lost faith in God despite the challenges he faced. In time Joseph rose up within the ranks of the Egyptians giving him great power and authority. While Joseph’s family was experiencing a severe famine, they traveled to Egypt seeking refuge. Joseph saw his brothers and had pity on them. He could have exacted his revenge, but what does Joseph do? Show compassion and love.
Joseph’s brothers were ashamed of what they had done and offered themselves as slaves, but Joseph had none of it. He compassionately forgave them. He told them, “Even though you intended to harm me, God intended it for good in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today.”
Evil exists and bad things happen. But still, God is in control. If we focus on our current circumstances we face in the world we could be overwhelmed by what we see. But God has a bigger picture in mind.
I believe these challenging circumstances we find ourselves in today is something God can and will use for good. Good things are happening every day. Many families are being given an opportunity to reconnect with each other by having game nights, others are expressing gratitude to the grocery store employee that they probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Good things are happening all around, we just have to keep our eyes open.
The church is navigating uncharted territory, learning to do ministry in new(ish) ways. Perhaps, as a church, we could see this opportunity to truly live into our calling as disciples. To be light unto the darkness and hope to the hopeless. There are so many ways to do this: buying groceries for your neighbor or for the food cupboards, calling our friends to check in on them, to be the joy to those who are struggling. If the church lives into its call this could bring a revival of Spirit-filled life to the church.
So while these are challenging times for many, God is in control and can make good of it. Let’s make sure He does.