Summary: Part 5 of Joseph the Dreamchaser. Just cause you’ve arrived doesn’t mean you can step on those who’ve hurt you. Bad things happen for good reasons.
Joseph: One Who Makes A Difference
Part 5: Forgiving The Unforgiveable
Robin Giles– Fresh Power by Jim Cymbala, pg. 163ff. Tells the story of this lady who was able to forgive in a really dramatic situation.
Joseph– After all Joseph has gone through, here they come. The people whose actions caused all his pain and heartache. He has them under his thumb. It would be so easy in his position to order their death. IN fact he does toy with them for a while to let them suffer some, but at last he relents. I give an overview of the events leading to this point and briefly summarize the trips of the brothers back and forth between Joseph and home.
Would it not be understandable for Joseph to just whack these guys?
Three Reasons Why Vengeance Is Futile
1. You’ll never hurt them as much as they hurt you. This is really why vengeance is so unsatisfying.
2. Those who hurt you are hurting also (but it’s not an excuse). Many times abusiveness is a long chain passed from generation to generation.
3. The longer you dwell on the pain, the more of your life passes you by. We all have read and seen stories of those evil scientists who want to payback the world for not listening to them. They construct evil hideouts on remote islands, with no explanation of how these things (their islands and evil technology)were funded. Just think how farther advanced we’d all be if Dr. No had just gotten a job with a defense contractor and let his bitterness go!
Allow Forgiveness To Be A Process
1. Recognize how deep the wound is, and its affects on your:
view of yourself
view of God
view of authority
view of opposite sex
2. Believe what God says about you.
For starters, try: 1 Peter 2:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:17 Ephesians 2:19; John 15:3; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 4:15-16; Romans 8:15- 17, 35-39; Psalm 34:18;Psalm 147:3; John 5:24; John 10:27-29; Acts 10:43. Look it up and see what God says about you.
There is no healing without cleansing of the wound.
The Word can give cleansing and healing
“That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word” Ephesians 5:26
“ Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” Titus 3:5
3. Ask God to reveal how pain can help you.
Pain is a good thing. Everyone should read, "Where is God when it hurts?" by Phillip Yancey and Dr. Ralph Brand. The book speaks of leprosy, which actually is a neurological condition. The body can’t feel pain, so it naturally does dangerous things. A leper may put their hand on a hot stove and leave it because he feels nothing but smells something grilling! They don’t seek medical attention for infection because no pain is involved! Gifts of pain:
helps us determine to _break the cycle_
(the stove is hot, quit touching it)
helps sensitize us to _needs of others_
(I remember the pain of getting hit like that!)
helps give _meaning to the past_
(pain teaches and strengthens us; if it didn’t hurt, we wouldn’t remember to not do it again!)