If you missed yesterday’s post, you’ll want to read it first as it ties directly into this one. You can do that by CLICKING HERE.
I want to talk about forgiveness for a minute. In the next blog I’m going to focus on the way that Joseph took this horrible situation and reversed it into something good, but for today I want to focus on his forgiveness. Bad things happen to all of us. Unfairness has visited each and every one of us. I’m pretty sure that everyone in the world has been mistreated at one time or another. We know what it is to look at someone else and rightfully have something against them. If you punched me in the face and broke my nose, I’ve got something against you. If you lied to the boss and got me fired, I’ve got something against you. It’s a natural reaction for us, but God calls us to forgive.
Unforgiveness is a plague. It eats you up from the inside, it’s a poison for your soul. And yet it’s something a lot of people struggle with. Releasing our hurts and those who hurt us can be one of the most difficult things we ever face, and it can also be one of the greatest stumbling blocks in our walk with Jesus.
I’m no expert on unforgiveness. Truth be told, my life is ridiculously blessed, and I rarely have reason to have anything against anyone. Even when I do, I’m just not wired for unforgiveness. I get really upset/angry, I cry, I fall asleep, and I wake up and am totally over it. I’m serious, the few times per year I get sincerely upset or wronged, that’s how it happens. It might sound like the routine of a teenage girl, but it’s also my fast acting anger cycle, so don’t knock it. There are those who have struggled with and overcome unforgiveness in their lives who could teach beautifully on the subject, but that’s not me.
But what I can do is point you to the book of ultimate examples. A book specially cultivated and crafted by God to show us all sorts of wisdom and knowledge and truth. And I really was just so humbled and amazed by the example of forgiveness we see here with Joseph. I think there’s an incredible lesson to be learned about forgiveness here, because it wasn’t his worldly mind that granted Joseph his ability to forgive. It was his spiritual maturity that allowed it. Joseph was able to forgive because he saw beyond the circumstances and glimpsed the divine nature of his life. He took a second and got past the anger and bitterness and resentment and he asked himself, where’s God in this situation? And man, God was ever present in Joseph’s situation, wasn’t he? I don’t know many people who have the level of spiritual maturity that they’d be able to do what Joseph did and look past the hurt and anger he must’ve felt and viewed the situation from the God angle. That’s exactly what I believe he did. He forgave not from a place of personal strength, but from a place of spiritual maturity. He said, hey, it was terrible what you did, but guess what, God used it for a divine purpose.
I just feel God throwing two words at me again and again lately. GROW UP. It’s a message for me, I know it is, but like everything here I share them because I believe they might have value for others out there too. It’s time to grow up, guys. It’s time to take the next step in our faith, in our life for Christ. It’s time to stand up and demand more from ourselves because guess what, God deserves more from me than what he’s getting. And I don’t know who you are who’s reading this, but I challenge you right now to ask yourself if God deserves more from you than what you’re giving Him. Unforgiveness is real, and some hurts are so deep and so major and so shattering that they strike us to our very core. I’m not going to pretend to understand what you may’ve gone through or may be going through or the way people have hurt or mistreated you. But I am going to encourage you to follow the example of Joseph as we try to mature into supernatural forgivers. I’m going to encourage you to look for God in your circumstance the way Joseph did.
God gave me everything. He gave the life of Jesus to pay for my sin. My sin caused the death of Jesus, which sounds unforgivable, and yet all is forgiven through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for those who believe and accept. Through that incredible sacrifice, I’ve been released to live in victory. But if we’re holding onto personal unforgiveness, if we’re not extending this incredible gift of forgiveness that God gave us to those who have wronged us, then we’re poisoning our own waters. Follow Joseph’s example. Get your eyes off those who wronged you and onto God.
CLOSING AND PRAYER
On Thursday I’ll be taking one last look at Joseph in a blog I’m calling Joseph the reverser. I’m excited to finish up this look at Joseph and see what’s next for my studies. Right now I’m leaning towards a short return to the Psalms, but we’ll see.
For prayers today, I want to stick with the theme of today’s blog. If you’ve got a past or current hurt in your life, bring it before the Lord today. Maybe it’s a person that hurt you that you’ve struggled to forgive. Bring it before God, let this be a day of deliverance from unforgiveness.
Today is my best friend/roommate’s birthday so I’m excited to celebrate that. I hope the week is treating everyone well so far. I love you guys and I hope for great blessings in your lives. God loves us so much, He delights in His children.