What a remarkable chapter! Joseph finally has a reunion with his long-lost brothers. He reveals to them that he is Joseph, and it’s pretty apparent that he doesn’t harbor any grudges against them for what they have done. He embraces and kisses each one of them, eagerly telling them how wonderful everything will be for them when they move to Egypt.
Also interesting in this chapter is what Joseph says about being sold into slavery: "God sent me ahead of you to rescue you in this amazing way and to make sure that you and your descendants survive. So it was not really you who sent me here, but God. He has made me the king’s highest official. I am in charge of his whole country; I am the ruler of all Egypt." (vs 7-8)
What’s going on here? Is Joseph trying to rewrite history? No. He hadn’t forgotten what his brothers had done. They were planning evil for Joseph when they sold him into slavery. There’s no doubt about that. But what Joseph can now understand is one of the most amazing things about God: He transforms suffering.
Suffering can come from a lot of different places in life. Sometimes it is brought on us by others. Sometimes it is brought on us by ourselves. But no matter where suffering comes from, all of it passes through God, and as it does, He transforms it from something awful into something He can use for good. Joseph is a perfect example of this. Being sold into slavery in Egypt was, I’m sure, no treat. And then being falsely accused and sent to prison heaped a lot of insult on injury. But look at how God was able to take all of those evil things that were done to Joseph and use them for good.
This is how God works. He takes all the evil that comes to us and turns it into something good. He takes curses and turns them into blessings. This is what love does. And that’s why evil has no power over good. That’s why Satan has no power over God. Because the more evil Satan perpetrates, the more good God brings out of it by transforming it.
Does this mean we ought to go around causing people to suffer so God can transform that suffering into good? Of course not. But it does mean that we can be sure that God will take all the suffering we encounter in life — no matter where it comes from — and use it for our ultimate best good. He can even use it to bring ultimate good to others. And, like Joseph, we will be able to see how everything that came to us through evil intentions was used by God for the good of many.
It’s awesome just to serve a God who is so willing to bless. It’s doubly awesome to serve a God who can turn every curse into a blessing!