It’s my pleasure to be writing to you again, I’ve been reading through Genesis lately and the story of Joseph always fascinates me. So this week I’d love to share a few thoughts with you.
Genesis 50:20 (ESV) "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
Sometimes I hold on to old wounds. As the pain resurfaces, I allow the past to hurt me all over again. It is at that time that I'm faced with the choice to forgive again or wallow in unforgiveness and pain. I don't like to hold grudges, but forgiveness is hard. It means I must choose to release the person who hurt me. And even more than that, real forgiveness means I don't feel the need to get even or make the person pay for what they did.
Maybe you've been hurt by someone close to you. You know what it's like to need to forgive someone, but struggle to truly release those wounds that come back to hurt again and again.
In Genesis 50, we find the culmination of Joseph's life. He had a few things he could hold against his brothers:
They stripped him of the coat his father made for him. (Genesis 37:3, 23; Genesis 37:3, 23)
They left him in a pit. (Genesis 37:24)
They sold him into slavery. (Genesis 37:26-28)
This led to Joseph being wrongly accused by Potiphar's wife. (Genesis 39:14-20)
And forgotten by a friend who said he would speak on his behalf. (Genesis 40:23)
Forgiveness couldn't have been easy, but the grace with which Joseph spoke to his brothers gives us a beautiful example to follow when we are wounded.
When Joseph spoke to his brothers after years of heartache, he offered comfort and kindness. His response is one of freedom. No longer did the chains of what happened to him hold him. He could see beyond the pain of his past and offer peace to his offenders:
"So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones. ' Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them" (Genesis 50:21).
This can feel impossible. How can we truly follow this example of forgiveness? The only way to understand it even a little bit is to experience the forgiveness of Jesus in our own hearts.
God shows us kindness despite our sin. Just as Joseph forgave his brothers, Jesus offers us forgiveness today. Through Jesus, every one of our sins is covered and forgiven. The devil will try to use our sin to destroy and divide, but God redeems and makes whole. (1 Peter 2:24).
You may never understand why bad things have happened in your life, but you can receive the good forgiveness God offers. This is the beginning of understanding how God can use evil things for good. As God planned the death of His Son for our redemption, (Acts 4:27-28) we see how God works all things for the good for those who love him. (Romans 8:28)
Something to think about this week:
Is there an old wound that seems too hard to forgive? Ask God to give you fresh eyes to see the good from it.
I’ll be praying for you guys this week! Stay safe! Talk soon!