01-27-08

It is one of the most memorable examples of grace and forgiveness in the Bible.  Joseph’s brothers are groveling for forgiveness.  But Joseph seems surprised that they don’t get it.  Joseph didn’t blink when it came to forgiveness.  He replied to the brothers, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Gen 50:20)

Joseph could have gotten stuck.  Sometimes we are so focused on the injustice brought in our life that we can’t see the bigger picture.  Perhaps we think that we have a certain inalienable right to a pain-free life. Joseph could have played the victim.  After all, his brothers were the ones that started all the misery in Joseph’s life.  They had sold him to the Ishmaelites, which led to his slavery, which led to false imprisonment.  It’s all connected, right? Sometimes we can take ourselves down a path of bitterness because we can’t let go of that one injury.  For the rest of our lives we are the victim, continually finding ways of connecting our current misery with that one injustice.

Somehow, Joseph was able to get past all those things.  He was able to forgive.  Joseph got over himself.  He saw beyond his discomfort. He wasn’t a victim.  In fact, he could see purpose in his suffering.  Joseph realized that as great as his own personal tragedy was, God had used it to get him into the place where he could save his family.  In fact, without that injustice, Joseph would not have been able to help anyone.

Beloved, don’t get stuck in bitterness.  Let it go.  God can take what the enemy intends as tragedy and turn it to good.