Why God Allows N’s To Wreak Havoc – Foundations – “You Meant It For Evil, But God Meant It For Good”


Genesis 50:20

20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.


This was an incredible statement by Joseph to his brothers many years after they had sold him to slave traders – the start of a series of seemingly very bad things that Joseph had experienced at the hands of others.  He then went from being a slave to getting thrown into prison.  And even when he got out of prison he was stuck in a country not his own.  He was sold at age 17, and got out of prison at age 30 – 40 percent of a young life that was permanently altered in the process.


It wasn’t until well over 10 years after getting out of prison that Joseph said these words to his brothers.  During the 13 years that he was a slave and in prison we do not know what he was thinking and feeling – it could easily have been a combination of things – wrestling with the situation he was in, occasional anger at his brothers, while also trusting God in the midst of his difficulties*.  We do know that he acted honorably and faithfully during those 13 years (Genesis 39).  We also know that God took care of Joseph even in his difficulties.  And we know that somehow during that time, God gave Joseph the understanding that HE was ultimately controlling things for ultimate good.


The point for us is that more than God allowing evil, and more than God making good out of evil (“when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”), God planned for the evil actions to be used for good – “God meant it for good” (Gen 50:20).


The difficult to accept, but important to understand point, is that God may be using your narcissist for good.  Yes, we need to exercise practical wisdom in dealing with them.  And yes, there are times to avoid them (see here, here, here, here, and here).  And it certainly is not easy.  But, the fact that they are in our lives is not random, but somehow designed by God for our good.  This may be a difficult pill to swallow, especially when you may have experienced a lot of pain at the hand of your narcissist.  But taking this more constructive approach to how we view the situation can be a big step in moving toward real and lasting healing, and gaining victory over the situation.


God using evil for good is one of the most difficult questions out there, but it must be addressed if we hope to get to the bottom of things.  And this is one of the handful of questions that people tend to choke on in their search for God.

God is much wiser (and more loving) than we are.  So we must approach this question from the viewpoint that God knows what He is doing, and that evil fits in with His plan of love.

We will explore how God might be using them for good in the next few blog posts.


For those of you wanting to dig deeper into this subject, here are some additional resources:


From Randy Alcorn

There Is No Pointless Suffering

If God Is Good:  Faith In The Midst Of Suffering and Evil

From the Blue Letter Bible

The Problem Of Evil

From Desiring God

Call That Love by Jonathan Parnell

Is God Less Glorious Because He Ordained That Evil Be  by John Piper

John Piper on Man’s Sin and God’s Sovereignty

Seven Things The Bible Says About Evil  by Johnathan Bowers

For Your Joy   by John Piper

Can A Good God Bring Pain  by Dave Zuleger

From Grace To You (John MacArthur)

Joseph:  Because God Meant It For Good

From Tim Keller

With All This Suffering, How Could There Be A God?





5 responses

  1. Yes and like above I treated my family similarly thinking they were all the ones with the problem. How wrong could I be but I was utterly convinced. So strange to look back on my life. I love my family. But narcissists don’t know love which is why I was so desperate. Why I was born with this heart I want to be someone else I want to be someone who has withstood pain and relied on God not someone who has inflicted pain and hardened their heart so life wouldn’t be so painful. Now I am a lone island unto myself I cannot even participate in this world that is my current punishment let alone eternal. I don’t know what to do, for even praying it seems to late like God says I ran away too long ago. I wrote another post and look forward to hear from you thank you. I want to know the truth no one will tell me the truth they all say you’re a part of Gods love but as you have shown throughout your blog there is no mercy for us we are cast out we are not included, how I long to be included but to be WORTHY of being included. I on earth could I change now.

  2. Yes I agree with you I see the good that has come out of this situation my narcissism and the people I have hurt but I don’t want to be part of the evil that was meant for good. That is a horrible place to be. If God meant for this to happen for evil to occur in this way can there not be a possibility of a renewal of a soul for narcissists to be absorbed back into his love. If we are used to be evil to bring about more good could that not be seen as a sacrifice. I would so much rather be the person on the other end of this the person who has God with them. Please I don’t want to be part of the evil while I have seen that I already have been I was so confused and didn’t understand and was only attempting to the empty void inside I don’t know where it came from. But now it’s too late everything is torment whatever I do. If I can somehow rationalise that I sacrificed this life to help my parents grow maybe I could live. But I don’t know that that is the case according to the truth and your work. Thank you, I’m just trying to understand.

  3. This entry is so ironic. One of the Ns in our life has told us she thinks she is the Joseph in her family, meaning amongst her siblings, that someday they will all come back to her expressing how wrong they all were to treat her the way she thinks they did. We can’t see any similarities in her life and Joseph’s. Not one. Thanks for allowing me to share that. Great post!

New York Post

Your source for breaking news, news about New York, sports, business, entertainment, opinion, real estate, culture, fashion, and more.


Real Help For Real Heartache

Be Loved, To Love

We Love Because He First Loved Us

Boundlessly Good

God's Motive For All That He Does