Crossroads: God Can Use Anything

Genesis 45:3-11, 15

Your Story

Talk about a time in your life when something difficult happened and God used it for good.

My Story and the Bible Story

My parents got a divorce when I was really young. And it was tough growing up without my dad close by. I was jealous of other kids who lived with both parents. It was tough trying to spend time with both of my parents. And it was hard not having my dad at a lot of special events. But even though it was a hard thing that happened, there were good things that came from it too. I’m really close to my mom. I can help other kids who are having a tough time with their parents’ divorce. I can empathize with the pain they are feeling. I have a better appreciation for dads who are a big part of their child’s life. And I even plan events that help strengthen marriages because I know how important it is to have both parents at home. God used something hard in my life to do good things. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV) We see this very clearly in Joseph’s life.

Read Genesis 45:3-11, 15. From the NIV: Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me—you, your children and grandchild, your flocks and herds, and all you have. I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute…And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.

God doesn’t make bad things happen. God didn’t make my parents get a divorce. God didn’t throw Joseph into that well to be kidnapped and sold into Egypt. And God doesn’t make whatever hard things that happen in your life happen. But, God uses them. God uses hard things in our lives to do good. God uses difficult times to teach us, to grow us, and to do good things through us. God used Joseph in mighty ways. He used Joseph to help save the lives of the Egyptians and the Israelites. Joseph’s brothers wanted to hurt him. They kidnapped him, threw him in a well, and sold him to slave traders. But when Joseph went to Egypt, God helped him. God gave him wisdom in dealing with Potipher’s business so that Jospeh would learn and be entrusted with more. God helped him interpret dreams for the Pharaoh so that Joseph became a leader. God showed Joseph what he needed to do to help the people during the famine. And then, when Joseph’s brothers came looking for food, God used Joseph to help his family. Even though Joseph’s brothers had done a terrible thing, God used what happened to Joseph to help others, and to do big things through Joseph. And God helped Joseph forgive his brothers. Joseph knew how God had used what happened to him. And so when he confronted his brothers, it wasn’t out of hatred, but out of forgiveness and thankfulness that God had done something great through him.

Bad things happen. Sometimes people hurt us, and there are things that are out of our control. Painful things can happen in our lives. But no matter what happens, good or bad, remember that God is with you. And that God can do great things with you. God can use everything that happens in our lives to do good things. God took Joseph’s bad situation and turned it into something good. And God promises to do that for us too. So when something difficult happens, pay attention. See how God uses it to do something good. And then tell others about it. Spread the word that God takes painful things and makes something good out of them!

Discussion and Prayer

  • Ask your children to talk about bad/hard things that have happened in their lives.
  • Help your children see how God has used those things to do something good.
  • How can we share those things with others? When can we share what God has done with others?

Pray, asking God for help in seeing the ways God turns hard things that happen into good things.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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