Friday, February 3, 2012
Power to Forgive
I have been reading the story of Joseph and have grieved with him as he was so wrongfully mistreated - yet, when all is said and done, here is what he says to his brothers that caused him such harm:
Gen 45:5-7 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. (6) For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. (7) And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
Gen 50:20-21 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (21) Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
As I have read this, I have been impressed with a key that can help me to forgive when I am mistreated. I need to understand that the sovereignty of God has been working right alongside the "meanness" of others toward me. What I mean is: God never causes people to sin against me and you, but He does orchestrate that conflict to work good in me, and perhaps even good in them. This sovereign control of our God is something that gives us strength then to forgive others. Joseph was able to forgive and even comfort his brothers because he knew that God's hand was even in their attack of him.
If you and I can believe and remember this, we can find strength to forgive and even thankfulness for people being mean to us!