Summary: You have been told you should have hope . . . why? Your trial, heartache & pain make you the exception, don’t they? They would, but you are coated!
Pt. 4 - Forgetfulness
Paul demanded that we be people that are overflowing with hope because we serve the God of all hope. However, as I mentioned in the first series where we attacked hopelessness it is apparent that many of us don't live up to that mandate. We have allowed hopelessness to take up residence in our life and so we are trying to simply remind you why you should be hope full! You can have hope because our Father prefers you. You are His favorite. We are coated with preference. He is for us! We are coated with His presence so that when preference is hard to trace you still know you have Him. Then you know we are coated with forgiveness or pardon that produces hope in us. I want to wrap this series up and revisit the story of Joseph one more time and find another type of coating that have that should fill you with hope.
Text: Genesis 41:50-52
Joseph had two sons born to him before the years of famine came. Asenath, daughter of Potiphera the priest of On, was their mother. Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh Forget, saying, “God made me forget all my hardships and my parental home.” He named his second son Ephraim Double Prosperity, saying, “God has prospered me in the land of my sorrow.”
I want you to notice that although Joseph has experienced promotion and is now in a position of power, prominence and prosperity he was also still very honest about the circumstances and experiences that got him to the his current place. He names his sons and in their names are an authentic description of what he has endured . . . Hardships and land of my sorrow. So he wasn't one of these guys that refused to admit he had never had a bad day. It wasn't like his great perspective was wrapped up in fantasy. He had gone through some hard times and some sorrow. And even though it had turned out for his good he was still honest about the price he paid to reach this level. Some of us would be in better shape if we would just be honest with ourselves and with others. Being coated doesn't mean we lie or sugarcoat what we have lived through. It is what we go through that brings about and sharpens our anointing. Pain produces power and you will never have power if you deny the pain required to produce it.
At the same time I want you to notice and learn from what Joseph teaches us. He acknowledges the pain without wallowing in it or becoming paralyzed by it. He says this has been a land of hardship and sorrow but God has done two things: first God made me forget my pain and second God prospered me in the middle of my pain.
I want to submit to you that Joseph was full of hope because Joseph was coated with forgetfulness.
God made him forget. One version says, "God hath enabled me to forget." I believe that many of us lose hope simply because we won't let God make us forget or enable us to forget. We have allowed the pain we have experienced to become more powerful than God. You will find hope if you will allow God to make you forget.
Listen the divorce was painful but you can have hope for your God sent spouse if you will let God make you forget the pain. Otherwise you will transfer the pain into this relationship and hold your spouse hostage to what the other person did to you.
The death was devastating but you can have hope if you will let God help you to forget the pain of loss and separation and instead remember the good times.
The financial hardships are painful but you don't have to remain bound by your memories if you will let God instead remind you of how He miraculously sustained you.
The abuse was uncalled for and unchosen but you are through it!
I realize that many of us struggle because we have the memory of an elephant. However, we aren't called to have the mind of an elephant. We are called to have the mind of Christ. What is His mind? Thankfully He is forgetful!
One of the greatest coats we can wear is forgetfulness. I have the ability to forget the pain. The wrong. The insult. The hurt. The look. The intentional and unintentional destructive action. We allow our minds to keep us bound, broken and hopeless. Forget it! The enemy will trap you in perpetual replay/rerun. We have been taught that it is possible to forgive but never forget. I'm sorry . . . but Paul says, "We should renew our mind." That means we can believe God for a new mind. Perhaps we don't want to forget. Perhaps we choose not to forget. All I know is that Scripture teaches us that the One we serve is forgetful and that the physical manifestation that He sent in His Son had a short memory. Jesus on the cross, after bearing undeserved and unbelievable brutality, was able to forgive to the point that He asks His Father to not hold this against those who were perpetuating these atrocities against Him.