When Joseph became viceroy of Egypt, he was given the task of storing grain during the seven years of plenty in order to prepare for the upcoming seven years of famine. Because of this, he not only saved the Egyptians from the famine, but he also saved his family and provided for them, even though his brothers had tried to bring harm upon him twenty-two years earlier. This was such a great act, that in one of the Psalms, the entire Jewish nation is called by Joseph’s name (Ps. 80:2).
One of the greatest qualities about Joseph was that he was still good and forgiving to those who had done him wrong. Even though his brothers had caused him much grief by throwing him into a pit and selling him into slavery, he forgave them and provided for his whole family during the famine.
If someone had done you wrong, and you had to spend twenty-two years away from your family, with twelve of those years languishing in prison due to false accusations, would you still be able to be forgive and do good to them? Or would you feel like punishing them?
Even though, at times, evil acts were set up against you and you may have ended up in a pit, in slavery, in prison—God uses those acts to drive you to a better place in your future so that you can change the world, just as we saw with Joseph. Even though Joseph’s brothers meant harm against him, the Almighty turned that act around and gave Joseph the ability and position to save many lives. What was meant for harm, God used for the good.
Do you think that you should always forgive those who have done you wrong? If someone comes to you and confesses their wrongdoing, must you forgive them? The answer is yes. You must consider that whatever happens to you comes from God, even if it is harmful. The person through whom that hurt came is simply God’s “instrument” in getting you where He wants you to be, and even accomplishing what you otherwise may not have been able to accomplish. It is all part of God’s master plan for your life. You may not have control over all of the events that happen to you; but what you can do is decide what to do with those events once they have happened.