Stock photo

Evil for Good

By Jessica Ringsmuth, Feb 15, 2018

But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them (Genesis 50:19–21).

What is your reaction when evil is done to you or you’re struggling through hardships, especially when it seems undeserved?

When I came to Ethiopia, I didn’t think doing ministry here was going to be easy, but I thought I had a pretty good grasp on what I was getting into. I had worked in the MTW office, been trained as a counselor and missionary, had traveled extensively, etc, etc. I also hoped that my choice to do full-time missions, coupled with prior experiences, would somehow keep me immune from having serious problems on the field. Like having cross-cultural conflict with a beloved friend or feeling completely lost in how to start a counseling ministry in another culture. It wasn’t until I arrived, however, that I realized I’m definitely not an expert; in fact, at times I could barely even do “life.” It didn’t take long to realize that I shouldn’t put my hope in training or preparedness.

In Ethiopia, I’ve been counseling groups of kids who have had unspeakable evils done to them, through no fault of their own. During one of our times together, I shared this passage about Joseph with them. Joseph is such a relatable character for those who have experienced suffering. He was almost killed and left for dead by his brothers. He was wrongly accused and then imprisoned for many years. But God redeemed his story by not only orchestrating events to allow Joseph’s family to come back into his life, but also by opening Joseph’s heart to love and forgive those who had wronged him.

Joseph’s story reminds us of the kind of God we serve! He can make the impossible possible—even changing hardened hearts and broken lives, to redeem and make right what has been lost. God can use me as the instrument of His ministry. My efforts are not in vain, even if it sometimes feels like they are. More important, God is redeeming my story to change me into a more loving, humble, patient, and merciful person.

What hope and comfort do we have, then? That even in our sorrow and pain, God is making a way for goodness, hope, and peace to come. We do not have to fear but can trust in our God—the God who takes evil and uses it for good.

This was originally published in The Journey devotional. Jessica Ringsmuth serves with MTW and Ethiopia ACT.

Please login to continue
Forgot your password?
Recover it here.
Don't have an account?
Create an Account
Sign Up for Free
Choose Password
Confirm Password


Youth Ministry Leaders
Equip Church Planters
Economic Development: Agricultural Training

I Can Feel You Smiling

I spent Friday afternoon with 15 of the most beautiful people in the world. All were early beneficiaries of Ethiopia ACT.


Ethiopia ACT: Twenty Years of Impact

For 20 years, Ethiopia ACT has been restoring health and hope to the most vulnerable in Addis Ababa while providing a clear gospel message.


Asnaketch: Transformed in Ethiopia (VIDEO)

Asnaketch’s life was falling apart. She was sick from cancer and her husband turned against her. But God had a story of redemption to tell.


Give thanks for lives transformed among the urban poor in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and pray for ongoing spiritual growth. 

Pray for ongoing ministry in the Suki community during COVID-19. Many day workers cannot work, and the church is having to find creative ways to minister. 

Pray for the church-planting team in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, (comprised of five Ethiopian nationals and an MTW missionary) as they work together to wholistically share Christ and serve the local community. 

Pray for the team in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as national partners and MTW missionaries work hand in hand for a greater overall impact.

Pray for the Suki church plant in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and for God to open doors to plant another church in a nearby community. 

Pray for the people being served through Ethiopia ACT, MTW's ministry serving the most marginalized in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

Pray for the Church in Africa to deepen and for African believers to live holy lives in accordance with God's Word.  

Give thanks and pray for the Suki church plant in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Pray for our ministries in Africa, where many have come to expect broken systems and corruption. Pray that God would intervene and change hearts that would change communities.

Pray for those in the urban slums of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, who are struggling economically due to COVID-19 restrictions. 


Good news in your inbox, once per week.