“Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Come close to me.’ When they had done so, he said, ‘I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.’” Genesis 45:4-5 (NIV)
There was so much hate and jealousy in Joseph’s family that his brothers wanted to kill him, but settled for selling him into a life of slavery.
Joseph was bought by someone who was good to him at first then threw him into jail for something he didn’t do. In fact, he was trying to do the right thing but it backfired on him.
He spent years in a dark dungeon with people who deserved to be there. At that point, most people would have said, “If this is what I get for serving God, then this is for the birds!”
But Joseph stayed faithful.
After years of struggles, Joseph received many blessings.
I think he received those blessings because he chose to believe that God had a bigger plan than what he could see.
Joseph could have let his anger toward his family destroy him. Instead, he let go of the bitterness toward his brothers.
He forgave them and chose to love them even when he was in a position to repay them for all the pain they caused him. He did not take revenge even when it would have been easy and justifiable.
Like Joseph if we trust God’s plans for our lives, He will use the pain and struggles to paint an amazing picture full of love and grace. God will receive the glory if we choose to overcome our hurts and disappointments.
Dear Father, thank You for the story of Joseph. Please help me to remember his actions when I’m tempted to take revenge or allow bitterness to overwhelm me. Help me to understand that You have a greater plan for my life than I can ever imagine. Amen.
This week, when you are tempted to hold a grudge against someone who has wronged you, take a moment and pray. Ask God to help you forgive and for him to use the situation for good.
Are you bitter toward anyone who has done you wrong? If so, ask God to help you by seeing something good that has come from it. Even if you can’t see any positives now, choose to believe that God has a plan for your good.
Image by: Jascha Hoste