“Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” (Genesis 45:5)
Regret is anger over the past. We can beat ourselves up for a wrong turn we made. We can rue the day we met someone who brought pain and trouble into our life. Of Joseph we read: “The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him.” (Gen. 49:23) He was indeed a target of his brothers’ malice. They wanted to hurt him, and they did. When they came to realize the magnitude of their crime they were filled with regret; they were angry with themselves.
But Joseph was not one to lick his wounds, nor hold grudges. He sought to give his brothers God’s perspective on what happened. If it were not for their actions, the whole family would not have survived the famine in the land. Joseph acknowledged God in all his ways. He appreciated His marvelous, redeeming hand.
There may be some people we wish we’d never met. We feel our lives have been made the poorer by their presence. They have caused us so much grief. If we love God, (as Joseph did,) and are “the called according to His purpose,” (as Joseph was) we should (like Joseph) know that God works all things together for good. We should bless Him for those loving people He has sent into our lives to enrich us. But we should also bless Him for those who could have made us poorer, but were used to bring forth in us the riches of His glory. When we serve a great Redeemer, it truly is all good.