Read Genesis 45:4–5
Joseph forgave his brothers for selling him into slavery in Egypt and told them that the act they meant to harm him, God intended for good.
In the Bible, Joseph is abused by his brothers and sold into slavery, then repeatedly scarred and neglected by his enemies. But Joseph made an amazing discovery: Anything meant in this world for evil, God can use for good. This is no less true for us today. God is able to take the mess of our past and turn it into a message. He takes our trials and tests and turns them into a testimony.
Romans 8:28 does not say that all things that happen to us are good, but it does say that God is able to work all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.
If we trust him with our broken and wounded hearts, he will bring healing, restoration, and wholeness. He takes the weak, the marginalized, and the oppressed and makes all things new. What someone else would leave for broken, he sees as beautiful.
And very often, the thing the enemy uses to try to destroy your life is the very thing God uses to help others. God can heal every hurt and turn your scars into signs of strength for his glory. Your past mistakes, hurts, and pain can help give someone else a future. Whatever we have gone through enables us to help others. God doesn’t waste one experience of our lives. He uses everything to help someone else. He doesn’t want us to remain crippled, immobilized, or paralyzed by the past. Instead, he sent us Jesus to show us how to step into the future.
I have always known that I was not the only one carrying around such pain. We are all broken in some way. We all have wounds. Some of us use that as an excuse to do nothing, to serve no one, but rather to sit and nurse our misery. That’s not what God wants, and not the model we see over and over again in the Bible.
The biblical model is that God deliberately chooses imperfect vessels—those who have been wounded, those with physical or emotional limitations. Then he prepares them to serve and sends them out with their weakness still in evidence, so that his strength can be made perfect in that weakness.
More often than not, it’s our weakness that makes us capable of serving, because those we serve identify with our pain. As always: God works in us so that he can work through us.