Continuing with sharing my notes coinciding with the 90-day bible challenge, the next topic I wanted to examine was the life of Joseph and his keen ability to forgive others and understand Gods purpose. If you aren’t familiar with the life of Joseph, familiarize yourself! The reading expanding from Genesis 28:20 all the way to Genesis 50:26 and definitely is one of my favorite stories in the bible.
Joseph’s father Jacob (later to be known as Israel) noticeably loved Joseph more and all of his brothers hated Joseph because of this. To make matters worse, Joseph had dreams that told the forthcoming events that would place Joseph as ruler over his brothers. Joseph’s brothers plotted to kill him, eventually selling him to a group of Ishmaelites who in turn sold him to Egypt to Potiphar, Pharaoh’s official. While living with Potiphar, Joseph was shown immense favor from God and had success in everything he did, eventually leading him to be put in charge of everything Potiphar owned.
From here, Potiphar’s wife lusted after Joseph but when he denied her she accused him of advancing on her. Joseph was thrown in jail because of a lie but he still kept his composure. While in jail, Joseph again was shown favor and placed in charge of everything in the prison. He interpreted the dreams of two prisoners, which would later lead to a chance meeting with Pharaoh to interpret his dreams, foretelling a drought that would not escape the land. Pharaoh made Joseph powerful, second only to Pharaoh!
Can you say wow? Joseph went from being hated by his brothers to eventually becoming second in command only to Pharaoh himself. Later, Joseph came face to face with the brothers who dealt with him so unjustly but instead of dealing harshly with them or holding a grudge, he forgave them!
Forgive As God Forgave You
Can you honestly understand how much of a person it takes to forgive someone that has dealt so unjustly with you? Joseph did just that and still kept a smile on his face and cheer in his heart. To drive the point home further, because he forgave and kept moving along God consistently showed him favor and added to his house! Let’s be real, how many of us would’ve had the wherewithal to forgive our siblings, friends, or whomever it may be if we were in the same situation?
Joseph was sold into slavery by those he should have been able to trust with his life; entrapped by a woman he’d never laid hands on; and placed in prison. Through it all, Joseph was forgiving and carried a smile on his face! Think about yourself and how God has placed you in trying times. Were you able to forgive or better yet did you handle it with a smile on your face?
I’m just going to be honest and say God just isn’t through with me yet! I’ve gotten way better than what I was but whew family, Jesus wept at some of the unforgiving ways I’ve exhibited at times. I think its time I story tell again and at the same time forgive. Okay, bear with me family. My senior year of high school we went on a field trip to a Mexican restaurant for my Spanish class. Well, there was this girl I had the hugest crush on. I made sure to sort of sit close to her, you know just to practice some Spanish and such (see what I did, I semi-lied). Soon into the experience, I met Andrew. Andrew was our waiter for our specific set of tables. Andrew quickly gravitated towards my crush and Andrew was making his move. Yea, I know as I’m writing that you can visualize me giving Andrew the “death stare with tongue pressed against my upper lip “ face and if you are visualizing that, you’re correct.
So everyone orders his or her food and it’s my turn, but Andrew is too busy in my crushes face so I grab his attention back. Andrew, seriously dude, no guacamole on my nacho bro. He shakes his head and some time later our food comes out. Andrew drops my plate and immediately starts spitting game to my classmate once again and sitting on top of my plate was a huge, grotesque glop of guacamole. Andrew looks at me and says, “Extra guacamole just like you asked man,” and winks. Fam, to this day I still remember Andrew and up until this point I’ve had Andrew on the “If I ever meet again” list but you know what, Andrew I forgive you. I’ll leave it at that because I don’t want Jesus to weep no more…
Understanding Like No Other
So now that we’ve discussed forgiveness, its time to discuss how understanding Joseph was. When Joseph finally reveals himself to his brothers, they beg and plead for his forgiveness. Joseph does something that so few of us exhibit and that’s understanding of God’s eternal plans. Joseph explains that he never felt resentment because he had the understanding that God put him in each of those situations. He explains that he understood God sent him ahead to save the lives he would save and to gain what he has gained. God made him Lord of all Egypt and it was God’s grace that had done all of this.
How many of us can seriously say that, through all our trials and tribulations, we understand that God was setting us up for future endeavors and to help us prosper, not bring us down? We usually gain this understanding after the fact, well let me take that back I usually gain this understanding after the fact. I know some people just get it and I can’t disregard that! Joseph understood it was God’s perfect plan to put him ahead of his brothers. Joseph was able to save the lives of not only Egypt but also Israel because of God.
Ponder that point when something doesn’t go your way. Maybe you’re passed over for your “dream” job or maybe someone walks out of your life. Instead of getting in your feelings, adorning your sackcloth and morning try to understand what God is positioning you for. Just because he said no doesn’t mean you should immediately throw a pity party. Just because God puts you in trials, throws tribulations your way, or makes your road a bit harder doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. It’s quite the opposite; God loves you so much that he has better for you. God thinks so highly of you that he has MORE waiting. Understanding, just try it on sometimes. Don’t pout or yell at God. Open your eyes and try to see the silver lining of those big dark clouds.
Call To Action
Forgive and understand is probably the easiest way to call you to act this week fam. God asks us how can he forgive us when we can’t even forgive those who’ve harmed us? Yea, I know that grudge is hard to let go because your immediate thought is “Man, I am not forgiving them because its like I’m letting them win.” Pride is a treacherous thing family and probably the greatest disservice you could ever give God. Don’t do it because of pride or for them, forgive for God. Release yourself from that burden because in all honesty you’re letting them win by still holding on and not forgiving.
Understand that God’s actions aren’t to hurt you but to prosper you through growth and love. The greatest one-liner I’ve heard was “rejection is God’s greatest protection.” Through whatever you’re going through, understand God’s reasoning. Understand the things God is trying to teach. Understand as Joseph did, God is only positioning you for his perfect grace and plan.
Prayer: Lord, I ask of you today to help release me from the chains of not forgiving others. Lord, this burden has become too much to bear and I’m only hurting myself. Help me, this day, to release those who’ve cause me hurt or pain. Lord I also ask you to help me lean to your understanding and not my own. You have a perfect plan and action in place and it’s my duty to faithfully obey. Thank you Father as I ask these and all other blessings in Jesus name, Amen.