Working All Things for Good
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people." -Genesis 50:20
Joseph was sold into slavery at about 17 years old. He was sold by his own brothers! But, God had a bigger plan and redeemed this negative situation in spite of what had happened to Joseph.
Joseph was Jacob's favorite son, and as such, was hated by his brothers who were full of jealousy toward him. After Joseph told his brothers a dream about the fact that they would one day bow to him, they had had enough - they wanted to get rid of him. At first their plan was to kill him, but Joseph's brother Reuben intervened, "Why should we shed any blood? Let's just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him." (Genesis 37:22) Afterward, he was sold to the Ishmaelites for 20 pieces of silver (v.28), and then to an officer of Pharaoh in Egypt, named Potiphar.
You might already know the rest of the story. After a series of unlikely events (and many years), Joseph ends up second in command in all of Egypt. And he is there to save his family and the tribe of Israel when a 7 year famine hits, the one prophesied in his dream years before. Joseph was 30 when he rose to power. Thirteen years had passed! But what a turn-around - from slave to prince. God used the negative things in Joseph's life to prepare him for his destiny.
Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them." I have absolutely found this to be true in many areas of my life. Have you?
If there is any negative situation in your life now, God can turn it around for His glory. Will you trust Him to bring you to the fulfillment of that promise? He desires to turn anything bad around for His glory and cause it to work together for good.
Related resource: The Promises of God: Discovering the One Who Keeps His Word by R. C. Sproul