(Genesis 39:1 – 41:37 – NIV)
The scriptures referenced above involve the life of Joseph. He was taken to Egypt by the Ishmaelites that had bought him from his brothers. The Ismaelites then sold him to Potiphar, one of the Pharoah’s important officials. Joseph proved himself worthy of trust and was entrusted with all that Potiphar owned. (Bad to good.)
When Potiphar’s wife attempted to seduce Joseph, he refused her multiple times. Then one day she went further than before in her efforts and Joseph “…left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.” (39:12b) Potiphar’s wife told her husband a story as though Joseph had been the aggressor; and, as a result, Potiphar “put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.” (39:20b) (Oops! Good to bad.)
But once again, Joseph found favor – this time with the prison warden – and he was put in charge of everything there in that prison. (Bad to good.)
While in this position, Joseph interpreted the dreams of two men (the cupbearer and the baker) and the interpretations both came true. He asked them when they were released from prison to mention him to Pharoah, in order to help him get released; but, they forgot about him. Two years later Pharoah had some dreams that no one in the land that he called on could interpret. At that point the cupbearer remembered Joseph and told the king how he had correctly interpreted the dreams of himself and the baker. So Pharoah called for him, and even then Joseph remained humble, in 41:16 he says “’I cannot do it,…but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.’” After Pharoah related the dreams to him, Joseph gave him the interpretation. As a result, Joseph was made second in command in Egypt – only the Pharoah himself had more authority. (Bad to good.)
Chapter 39:2&3 tells us that while serving Potiphar that Joseph “prospered” and that “…the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did.” And when he was in the prison we are told in 39:23 “The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.” (Bad to good.)
I believe that like Joseph, even when we remain faithful to God and do what is right, there is still always the possibility that things might not always go well. People might resent our confidence, our strength and our determination. But…if we stay faithful and committed to our convictions and do the right things, God can turn the bad to good – He is an expert at doing just that. Even if the good should turn to bad, He can reverse it. Then He can use us to benefit not only ourselves but to have a positive impact on others as well.
When things in our lives go from good to bad, we just need to remember that God can and will turn them back to good if we will just put it in His hands and be patient.
Written by Karran Martin