But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God?” Genesis 50:19
The brothers were afraid, because they thought Joseph might pay them back for the evil they did to him (50:15). But Joseph made clear to them: “I am not God—it is not my job to right the wrong that was done to me.”
We are never to pay back evil for evil. “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’” (Rom. 12:19).
Joseph lived years before Paul wrote these words, but he already knew the principle: “Dealing with evil belongs to God and I am not God, so you have nothing to worry about from me.” The real issue is not what others will do to us, but what God may do to us.
At just the right time, Jesus Christ came into the world. Unlike Joseph, Jesus is in the place of God. What He says, God says, and what He does, God does. He went to the cross and “bore our sins in His body on the tree” (1 Pet. 2:24).
If God is for you, then who can be against you (Rom. 8:31)? “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us” (Rom. 8:33-34).
If God has forgiven you, you have nothing and nobody to fear. Satan may be against you, other people may be against you, your own heart and conscience may condemn you, but God is greater than all these.
What can you say to yourself when Satan tries to condemn you? When others speak against you? When your heart and your conscience condemn you?