Being hurt by family—parents and siblings— can be the most painful of all life’s experiences. Personally, I cannot know the pain caused by sibling rivalry to the point of attempted murder, or even in Joseph’s situation—being betrayed (sold into slavery as a substitute for killing him).
I’m always amazed by Joseph’s story because it reminds me of how God allows the painful experiences in life to propel us into divine destiny. Joseph’s story shows how struggles and disappointments can turn out for good. They resulted in good for Joseph’s family, who was able to escape a terrible famine in spite of the evil they did toward him. In addition, his terrible experiences with his family resulted in good for Joseph, who gained a whole new perspective on life. Looking back, he could see God at work even in all the trials he had experienced.
Moreover, Joseph’s story gives us an example of our Lord. It’s saturated with the “forgiveness” principle. How so? Joseph represents a type of Christ by forgiving his brothers for the evil they plotted against him. Had Joseph spent his years mourning and being bitter about how he’d been mistreated by his brothers, he would have destroyed his own life, not to mention, interfered with God’s plan and purpose for his entire family.
Think about this! You could be the one God chose to use in your family. You could be the one God uses to be a blessing to your siblings even though they have hurt you, caused you the most pain, struggles and disappointment, seemingly for no reason, other than jealousy. Let me encourage you…don’t be bitter. Release them, let go of the anger that causes you physical, emotional and mental anguish. Forgive them. Remain faithful and obedient to God. In the end everyone will win. Read what Joseph said to his brothers after they fled to Egypt from the famine…Joseph said to his brothers… “Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” (Genesis 45:4-5)
You see, not only did Joseph forgive them, but he knew they carried the guilt and shame for their evil actions against him. You must also know that when God’s plans and purposes prevail those who wronged you will need your forgiveness so that they can move forward.
Look back, how has God been at work during the difficult times in your life caused by family pains, struggles, and disappointments?
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