Embracing Forgiveness: Learning from Joseph’s Grace

Gen 50:21  Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

Joseph’s reaction to his brethren (who had previously sold him into slavery) speaks of his willingness to forgive, as well as his spiritual maturity.  It is the author’s opinion that there is not a better type of Christ in the Old Testament, than what is found in Joseph!  Was it not said even of Christ, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” (Jn 1:11)?  Yet, the more they rejected him, the more he loved them!  So it was with Joseph.  Oh sure, there was pain involved, past hurts, foul memories, and scars that will always be there, yet Joseph chose not to go down the path of bitterness and revenge, but down the path of forgiveness and acceptance of God’s sovereignty in it all!  It should be our desire today that the Holy Spirit would give us the same kind of grace and forgiveness as was given to Joseph!  Christ also said in Matt 5:44, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”  The thing we must realize when it comes to forgiveness is this: our greatest enemy is unforgiveness itself, not those to whom we offer no forgiveness.  In the end, the one who is defeated by unforgiveness is the one who has lost the most!  Do not allow your circumstances and what others have said or done to you cause you to become bitter; allow them to make you stronger and better!  When your enemy curses, choose to bless!  When they rail, choose to speak peaceably!  When they afflict, choose to comfort!  Romans 12:20 says, “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.”  Today, how will you choose to react to the wrongs that have come your way?  Will you react with revenge, or will you react in forgiveness?  My prayer for all of us is that it shall be the latter!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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