15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said to one another, “If Joseph is holding a grudge against us, he will certainly repay us for all the suffering we caused him.”
16 So they sent this message to Joseph, “Before he died your father gave a command: 17 ‘Say this to Joseph: Please forgive your brothers’ transgression and their sin—the suffering they caused you.’ Therefore, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when their message came to him. 18 Then his brothers also came to him, bowed down before him, and said, “We are your slaves!”
19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people. 21 Therefore don’t be afraid. I will take care of you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
When evil times come our way, we sometimes tend to take our focus away from Jesus and into the bad situation we are in. By losing focus, we will miss God’s love being displayed on us. Joseph did not do this, even though his brothers had evil intentions for him and sold him as a slave, God had other plans to save not only those in Egypt (where he was sold to) and the other nations around it but also the same brothers who betrayed him. That is the love of God in action.
Joseph understood the bigger picture because he looked at it at God’s vantage point instead of his. He knew that God never left him but even though he was a slave to an Egyptian captain and then was thrown in prison from a false accusation, Joseph trusted God all the way. His faith NEVER wavered.
After Jacob died (their father), Joseph’s brothers became afraid thinking that their little brother whom they abandoned by selling him as a slave was going to get revenge on them.
In verses 19-20, we see that Joseph always had the bigger picture in mind and truly forgave his brothers because his bad situation turned out to be salvation for countless of people who would have died from the famine. Joseph had to go through the bad times, which molded him into God’s image to bring about God’s will and glory.
When you see yourself going through tribulation, know that God is in the process of making you ready to accomplish His will that is going to affect many people in your path.