For the Greater Good
Micca Monda Campbell

"But as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." Genesis 50:20 (ESV)

Beyond a doubt, Joseph was a beloved son. In reading Joseph's story recorded in Genesis 37-50, I couldn't help but think how Joseph would make a great guest on any talk show if he were alive today. The title of the TV program might go something like this: From the Pit to the Palace.

Joseph's story begins much like ours. He came into this world an innocent child. He didn't ask to be born. Joseph, like any of us, deserved to be cared for, loved, and nurtured by his parents. On the other hand, so did Joseph's brothers. But in the eyes of their father, they were second best to Joseph. The rejection of their father caused terrible sibling rivalry until one day Joseph's brothers threw him into a pit.

While Joseph's brothers were eating supper and discussing what to do with Joseph, the opportunity of a lifetime arose. A caravan of Midianites passed their camp on the way to Egypt. Seizing the opportunity, the brothers sold Joseph as a slave for twenty pieces of silver. In U.S. money, that amounts to $1.28.

Is that where you are right now, friend? Have you been rejected by someone and thrown into the pit? Don't fear. You're not lost. God has not abandoned you. He knows your whereabouts. He is using your circumstance as a stepping-stone for a greater plan just as He did for Joseph.

Several years later during a life-threatening drought, Joseph's brothers traveled to Egypt to buy grain. It was Joseph, their brother, who had foretold the drought and prepared Egypt for survival. Many came from all over to buy grain, and so did Joseph's brothers. By now, Joseph had been promoted to second in command in Egypt.

In his powerful position, Joseph could have taken revenge on his brothers for betraying him. Instead, he chose to forgive them and reunite with his family.

As his brothers bowed before Joseph in fear of their lives, Joseph said, "But as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today" (Genesis 50:20). This verse is often compared to 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" (NIV).

When you and I let down those walls of fear and trust God for the greater good, we'll find a measure of healing and restoration just as Joseph did. Instead, we often want to cling to the pain. That kind of thinking only keeps us in the pit and allows our wounds and fears to fester and grow. God has so much more for us.

What was meant for evil in your life, God wants to use for your good. The Lord wants to bring you and me out of the pit and place us in His palace. The choice is ours. We can focus on our own bad experience and miss the joy that can be ours. Or, like Joseph, we can take the risk, venture out, forgive those who hurt us and truly believe that God has a greater plan for our future.

Dear Lord, Your promises are a gift to me. You've given them to sustain me, to provide hope and peace while I'm in a pit. Help me to trust in all Your promises until You bring me out. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
This devotion was based on Micca’s book, An Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith that is Stronger than My Fears

Visit Micca’s blog

Great encouragement can be found with our P31 Woman free online article Surrendering Your Strongholds

Treasured: Knowing God by the Thing He Keeps by Leigh McLeroy

Application Steps:
Shake off the dust of your past by trusting in God's promises today. His Word is a light unto our path and our thinking. Instead of thinking about the pit, think about how God is working for your greater good. This will open your eyes to His presence and allow you to rest in His promise.

Do you daily feed your heart, soul and mind with God's promises or are you starving spiritually?

Power Verses:
Psalm 18:30, "As for God, his way is perfect. All the Lord's promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection." (NIV)

© 2010 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks, this passage of scripture in Romans 8:28 was quoted to me this week by my dear Pastor. I was needing encouragement and God sent it by right on time. I woke up this mornig my heart being heavy because I don't know how things are going to work out but when I read your devotion it hit home and confirmed God's word once again. Thank you for sharing. It is amazing when we have to slow down we are able to find out what is really true. For more than five years I have been in a rat race just trying to do God's will and only the last few months it seems his will is leading me in a whole new direction. Thanks for confirming God's word in my life today.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we are angry and holding tightly to hatred and grudges, our hands and lives are closed to the good things God wants to give us.
Lord, let us open our hands and let go of the pain, anger, rage, hatred that consumes us and give it to You. Then we will be standing there empty and cleansed of sin but ready to be filled with all the goodness that You have in store for us. Our hands are open and ready to received, Lord. Thank You for being there. For Your wonderful plans that You have for us! In Jesus Name I pray.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I was getting dressed for work, I just have not been feeling up to any task this week. I am very tired physically and spiritually. I have been trying to lose weight and walk and I am just to tired for that. I know spiritually where to go. That was a reminder to go to God's word for a refreshing of my soul. Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! My friday is acting like a monday! I'm sick, my eye is swollen because of some infection, the cat will not stop crying and I still need to get payroll done for 15 employees. I'm freaking out, I feel like I'm in a pit! I prayed about it but still feel anxious and angry. Reading this reminded me, that there is a reason for everything and while I'm uncomfortable, I just need to go with it. Thank you for encouraging words.

Blogger Nancy M. said...

Gen 50:20 got me thru a really rough patch in my life 14 mos ago, & I am so thankful that you're using it to encourage others this morning. God CAN & DOES redeem the rough stuff in our lives. We can only see the here & now, but we gotta trust God's timeless perspective. God is in control. He knows what he is doing, and it's all good.

Blogger Charlotte said...

this is amazing... thank you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a native american woman and live in an area that has serious racial tension and was feeling very sad about some of the things people say and do. And then I read this devotional and felt encouraged that God can use the most hurtful and cruel things for something awesome.
That even if people succeed in putting me in a "pit," God won't leave me there.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your obedience in sharing God's word...
this devotion (and the verses quoted)have been part of an answer to a prayer that I've been praying for almost 5 years now...
Very encouraging to be reminded that even in "the pit" the Lord knows where we are & has NEVER let go of us...His plan is Perfect & will be brought about in His Perfect time!
God bless you!!!

Anonymous judy said...

It is ironic to read this because it sounds just like to turn the other cheek I have had to do that so many times in my life and I have found only blessings after blessings our heavenly Father is just so amazing he promised he would never forsake us and that we can certainly bank on.
God bless always

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