“But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 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. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.’ Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” (Genesis 50:19-21)
As we recall, Joseph’s brothers had sold him into slavery many years before. After the death of Jacob, their father, the brothers feared that Joseph would now exact his revenge. They were wrong. Joseph comforted his brothers by reminding them that he had forgiven them long ago.
Joseph was a godly man who had grown in wisdom through the trials and joys of his life. He had experienced the grace of God and had not only been blessed but had been a blessing to others. He saw the big picture, that the sovereignty of God had worked all things out for His own glory as well as the salvation of His people.
As we see from this incident in the life of Joseph and his family, God is sovereign over everything that happens in the world including natural disasters, sickness and the free acts of mankind. Nothing ever takes Him by surprise. Everything that happens occurs in accordance with His plan even evil and sin. It is also within the Lord’s plan to discipline us which means we will have to endure painful and difficult circumstances in life. These work out His sovereign plan even as they help us grow. Though we may have to endure with difficulty, ultimately, at least for we who believe, we can endure with hope and faith. And as we endure we can reach out to others and comfort them with the same comfort we have received.