Weekly Devotional

God Intended It For Good

Unanswered prayers can be a blessing.

Written by Back to the Bible on 12/02/2024

“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


Can you look back on a time in your life when it seemed as if God was working against you only to see in hindsight that God was working in your best interests and in the best interests of others?

As I look back on my life, I can trace a pattern that clearly shows God working through my circumstances. But interestingly, one of the ways I could see His hand most clearly was when He didn’t give me what I thought I needed. But of course, I can only see that in hindsight.

I didn’t get what I thought would be best for me several times in my life and I did indeed wonder what God was doing. In college, I didn’t get into a nursing program that I thought was the career path God was When I applied and interviewed for jobs, I didn’t get  the jobs that seemed like a perfect fit. As I watched many of my friends marry young, I wondered why God was making me wait so long. At the moment, none of it made any sense. But now, I look back and I am so thankful that God closed doors that led  me down others I hadn’t even imagined.


In my study of Ruth, Naomi goes through extreme hardship. Her family suffered in a famine and so they moved to Moab. In Moab, she was a stranger. And though her sons found wives, before long she found herself burying her husband and her two sons. I understand why she was so grieved. From her limited point of view, all was lost. She concluded that God must be against her.

Her succession of hardships reminds me of Joseph. His brothers threw him in a cistern and then sold him into slavery. He was put in charge of a high-ranking Egyptian official’s household only to be falsely accused of raping that man’s wife and being tossed into prison. It would have been easy for Joseph to assume, as Naomi had, that the hand of God was against him.

But God wasn’t against Joseph, He was right there with him (Genesis 39:2, 23). He was working through all of Joseph’s circumstances, not just so that Joseph would be blessed but that through Joseph, many people would be saved. Joseph’s brothers would end up in Egypt asking for food because there was a famine in their land. Joseph had been released from prison and God had raised him up to be Pharaoh's right-hand man. He was the keeper and distributor of the grain stores in Egypt. Joseph forgave his brothers, provided them with food and land in Egypt, and in doing so, preserved the line of the Messiah by saving his brothers— the sons of Jacob, the grandsons of Isaac, and the great-grandsons of Abraham. Joseph was blessed, his brothers and their families were blessed, and because of God’s saving work in Joseph’s life, we are eternally blessed as well through Jesus, the Messiah! Joseph told his brothers that what they intended for evil, God intended for good.

God’s Plan

God wasn’t against Naomi, either! He was right there with her. He was working through her painful circumstances to bring about good in her life.God was going to use Naomi and Ruth to bring about the saving of lives for all eternity through the preservation of a family line.

When we go through hardships like Naomi and Joseph, when we can’t understand what God is doing, we can trust that God is working all things for our good and His glory, according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). He has a reason and a plan even when we can’t see it and don’t understand it. If you are in the middle of a season of pain and confusion, take heart. Let Joseph’s and Naomi’s stories remind you that even in the worst of circumstances, God is still on His throne and His plan is always better than ours.

Pray this week:

Lord, please help me trust You even when I can’t see how You are working. Use my circumstances, not only for my good, but for the eternal good of others, and ultimately, for Your glory! Amen.

Can you think of examples in your life when, in hindsight, you can see how God has worked through trials and tragedies to bring about blessings? Share that testimony with someone today! You can connect with a caring volunteer below.

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