I think we all have been the recipient of bad behavior by others. Perhaps your spouse cheated on you or a dear friend was unable to keep a secret. “My heart breaks for those that have been incarcerated for decades for a crime and then are finally released when DNA evidence, which was not available at the time of the trial, proves they are innocent,” says Todd Shupe of Baton Rouge.
The Biblical story of Joseph is a powerful example of God turning bad into good. As you may recall, Joseph was the youngest of Jacob’s children. The oldest son typically was held in highest regard but Jacob favored Joseph and gave him “a coat of many colors.” Joseph told his brothers of his dreams and in one dream they were all bowing down to him. The brothers began to hate Joseph and one day threw him into a pit to die. “However, they realized that they could receive a small amount of money for selling him and when a trader passed, they sold their brother into slavery. This is not just bad — it is evil!” exclaimed former LSU professor Todd Shupe, who is also a dedicated Christian ministry volunteer.
Joseph spent many years in prison, but maintained his faith in God. His ability to interpret dreams (a gift from God) eventually allowed him to interpret Pharoh’s dreams and manage the surplus of grain for the seven years of plenty to be ready for the following seven years of nothing. The boy ascended from a death pit to second in command of Egypt! When his brothers come to Egypt for grain, I am struck by Joseph’s response to them: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20). Joseph knew that God would use the bad that had been done to him and eventually turn it into good. Isn’t that the message of Romans 8:28? “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
We all will suffer an injustice in this lifetime, Baton Rouge resident Todd Shupe recently commented. The key is to keep your eyes on Jesus and trust that He will use it for good. It probably won’t be on our timing, but in His timing. Recall the words of the Lord’s Prayer – “your kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven,” (Matthew 6:10). I encourage you to recite out loud the entire Lord’s prayer each day and meditate on the phrase “your will be done.” Then take comfort that His will is for your happiness.