Lift Your Eyes, Calm Your Heart
"But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them." (Genesis 50:19-21)
Think about Joseph. The way his brothers had betrayed him and caused him so much pain, the way he was set up by Potiphar's wife and wrongly imprisoned. Yet these events were in God's purposes for Joseph and were part of His purposes for so many others, even for us in reading about them.
Joseph lost so much and suffered so much. Yet he forgave those who wronged him. How could he do that? He was only able to do this because he had a high view of God’s sovereignty. He eventually saw the big picture, that although his brothers and Potiphar's wife meant it for harm, God meant it for good. Joseph was used by God to provide food for most of the known world, including Joseph's own family and people during that severe famine.
You and I know the reality of how difficult it is to forgive people. It is not in our fallen nature. We have a natural bias toward holding grudges and getting payback. Without God this bias runs rampant in individuals and in societies. Human history records what happens in periods where society has either forgotten God or openly wars against God.
Like Joseph we too need to have a high view of God’s sovereignty and providences. Trust that He is fully in control of every situation. Why should we rebel against that by holding grudges and not forgiving? Let God do His thing. He knows what He is doing.
For further reading to help in this: Psalm 37, Psalm 73 and Romans 8:28.
Photo and reflection by Craig Manners