Intended for Good
19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
When the child was born, he was named Hallie according to Kissi tradition. Hallie means “last born son,” and as the youngest of two boys, it was an appropriate name. Unfortunately, Hallie and his brother were orphaned when Hallie was just two years old. For the next four years he lived with a distant relative, and often wondered where his next meal would come from—or if it would come at all. But when Hallie was six, his life took an unexpected turn. An uncle came for him and his brother, and took the boys to Monrovia where they joined the Christ Our Hope Children’s Home family. The very first Sunday that the boys were at Christ Our Hope, they attended Sunday school. And the very first story they heard was the story of Joseph.
We all know the story of Joseph. How he was his father’s favorite and sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. He was persecuted and thrown in jail in Egypt, but his character and integrity earned him the admiration of Pharaoh. Soon, he was in charge of Egypt, and his visions from God helped the entire country prepare for a horrible famine. Years later, his starving brothers came in search of food and found instead their long lost brother.
Hallie loved this story so much that he decided in that moment he would no longer be called Hallie. Instead, he took on the name Joseph and refused to answer to anything other than the name he had chosen. The reason why the name Joseph was so meaningful to him was because of some of Joseph’s final words to his brothers: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…” Joseph believed that his life, though hard and heartbreaking, was being written for God’s glory.
Sometimes we encounter things in life that could break our hearts and snuff out our joy. But what man intends for evil, God intends for the good of those who love him. Take heart, friends. You life is a beautiful story in the hands of a loving Father and Lord.
- Can you recall a time in your life when something terrible happened—but God used that experience for good?
- If you could choose any name for yourself, what would it be? Why is that name meaningful to you?
Father, we know that you love us. We know that you are fighting for us even when we feel lost and alone. Help us to find our strength and our meaning in you and you alone. Help us to believe that the story you are writing for us is far greater than anything we could ever imagine for ourselves. We love you so much. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Read Joseph’s story. It begins in Genesis 37 and is finished at the end of the book of Genesis (chapter 50:26). His life was truly a roller coaster! As you read, take note of things that are often overlooked in the Sunday school version of the story. You might be surprised by what you read!