Joseph’s Understanding

Forgiveness can be difficult. Saying I’m sorry can be difficult. We are made of human, imperfect flesh. We have to die to ourselves every day. We have to get rid of pride, anger, jealousy, rage, envy; all things not of God. Our whole lives are filled with trials and we have to fight to be overcomers. That is what God calls us to be; overcomers not survivors. At times in my own life I have questioned God. Why did I have this parent? Why did I go through this God? Where were you God? I think we have all cried out to God for answers in moments of this life.

I would like to think that I have had some understanding of what forgiveness is throughout my life. Forgiveness is so powerful; it brings freedom. In the same way unforgiveness is powerful for the enemy; it brings bondage. I was reading about Joseph again the other day when I had to stop and reread a portion.

Genesis 45: 4-8

And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will beneither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

I have read those passages so many times, yet on that day God really revealed something to me. Joseph keeps telling his brothers who sold him, that “God sent me before you”. Joseph had a full revelation that God was fully involved in this whole journey. God was not surprised that Joseph was sold by his brothers, or that Joseph ended up in prison. God planned it that way. Joseph saw the bigger picture. He was sent so that one day, he could save his family from the drought.

No matter what we have gone through, or are going through, we need to hold on to that revelation that God sent us. It is so easy to say that it is all the enemy’s fault. Because of the enemy, I am not doing what I was supposed to be doing. The enemy stole my future or my calling. I know it can happen. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. We do need to be ever watchful of the enemy’s snares. God has plans for our life and sometimes those plans may include things like your own brothers selling you out of jealousy, or ending up in prison as an innocent man. Joseph understood this. He did choose to forgive his brothers, but he understood that God planned all of his life and Joseph was faithful to overcome all of his adversities by being faithful to his God, the God of his fathers.

I want to be like Joseph in that way. I want to be quick to forgive and quick to understand that the enemy doesn’t surprise God. Our parents or siblings, or that person in your life that you don’t understand why God put them in your life, they are there for a purpose. God is sending us and it is up to us to choose to forgive with the understanding that we serve a faithful God and He knows our destiny. God is sending us because perhaps one day, we are going to be saving another person’s life, or many people’s lives. Don’t live in your sorrow, or unforgiveness. Keep your eyes on Jesus and don’t lose hope.

Lord I choose to forgive all those who have hurt me. I choose to walk this path with the understanding that You alone are God and nothing is impossible for You. Thank you Lord for my destiny.

Living as a Victim or Overcomer

“You don’t know where I’ve been unless you’ve walked in my shoes!” This is absolutely a legitimate sentence, but if that becomes the focus of your life, then you have a problem. I see so many people that live with this victim mentality. We have all walked through terrible situations during our lifetime, some worse than others. We see people on the news every day that have fought evil for up to decades and have managed to overcome and live their lives to the best of their ability. How do we survive these things? That is one of the problems; the word ‘survive’. God has not merely called us to be survivors, but to be overcomers. We are called to rise above our circumstances and learn from our past, but not live in our past.

I know a woman that has multiple daily posts on her social media site that talks about how she has been to hell and back. She posts about unforgiveness and bitterness and how they can destroy you, but lives in a constant state of unforgiveness and bitterness. She has developed a victim mentality. She is always a victim. She is not an overcomer. She may have gone through the fire, but not only did she get burned then, she still lives there. Life has moved on all around her, yet she won’t let leave this camp.

The bible tells us how we walk through the valley of the shadow of death and how we should fear no evil, yet people seem to skip over the word through. Let us not camp out in the valley, but let us continue through it where we climb the mountain to our destiny. Let us not live our lives as victims, but men and women of God who have overcome every bad circumstance in our lives.

I want to be known as an overcomer. I want people to look at me and see what I have become and not where I have been. It is good to remember where we came from, but never ever live there. Move forward. Be who God called you to be.

Love Like Children

I am tough on myself. I wish I wasn’t. I find myself at the end of each day, planning on doing better the next day; being better. I end my day happy that I did some good, happy that my kids made it through the day still loving me, still believing I’m the best Mom in the world. Kids are so forgiving and so loving, so innocent and so resilient. I see my kids and understand how Jesus loved the children around Him and said, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” 

As we turn from children into teenagers, young adults, adults, and finally elderly, we gain wisdom. As we get older though, we also gain hurts, distrust, cynicism, pessimism, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, among many other things. God did not intend for us to hold onto anything but the true definition of love in I Corinthians 13; withouth love, I have nothing, I gain nothing. My kids go to bed ever night still believing the best in me. They still love me and they easily forgive me. 

It can be very difficult to change. I want to be more like my children. I want to go to bed every night believing the best in people and not assume the worst. I need to bless those who curse me. I want to believe that there is a possibility that I may not be seeing things clearly. I need to be ready to admit to myself that I am seeing the world through hurts and sacrifices that I never wanted. I need to be honest with others, but with myself more.

God’s mercies are new every morning. I need to wake up every day and believe that I can be more like my children. They are a great example of how God sees us. Children learn a lot from us. Let us not be so arrogant to think they are not in our lives so that we can learn from them. I love my sons more than I can even understand; more than I thought I ever could. I hope one day they can understand just how much they have given me, how much God has blessed me through them.