Friday, March 14, 2014
"But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives." - Genesis 45:5 NLT
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people." - Genesis 50:20 NLT
Thoughts for Today
From a human perspective, Joseph had every right to be angry with his brothers. Their hostile actions toward him had led to many years of hardship. Now he was in a position of authority and strength that entitled him to do whatever he wanted to his brothers. Get even time. He could have had them imprisoned or put to death.
But Joseph didn't see things that way. He served God and saw things His way. He realized that God had used all these difficult circumstances to save lives. He recognized that his brothers had meant to harm him. But he also recognized that their actions were part of God's plan for good.
Joseph loved his brothers. He forgave them and wanted only good for them. Joseph's attitude opened the door for God's healing and blessing for all concerned.
Consider this …
Perhaps someone has treated you unfairly. Maybe they have rejected you or been unkind or even abusive. From a human perspective, you have every right to be angry with them and want revenge. But God is a God of forgiveness. Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. If God, who is perfect and holy, is willing, and even eager, to forgive us, how can we refuse to forgive others?
Only when we let go of unforgiveness and bitterness, do we open the door for God to heal. Only then will we be able to begin to see things from His perspective--that He can bring good even from actions that others meant to be harmful.
Father, Thank You that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me for unforgiveness and bitterness. Help me let go of them and forgive those who have hurt me, even as You have forgiven me. Help me see things from Your perspective and trust You to work all things for good. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …
Free to Grow: Overcoming Setbacks and Disappointments by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. The purpose of this group study is to help people overcome disappointments and setbacks that have arrested or are presently hindering their emotional and spiritual development. The group study will help participants understand how to be set free so that they can grow and become all that God has designed them to be. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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