I was reading in Genesis about Joseph. Many of us know the story about a boy who was a favorite to his father. In jealousy, his brothers sold him as a slave. Through many trials of being in captivity and ending up in jail, he became one of the most powerful men in Egypt. In Genesis 50:20, the Bible says, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives". As you read the story, this boy who becomes a man through so many trials and hardships, is so quick to forgive those who had wronged him. It is truly amazing to read as the brothers worry about his revenge and Joseph cannot figure out why they are so worried. He had forgiven them, realizing that even though they had originally intended to harm him, God has used them. In the rest of the story of Joseph, we read there was a drought so horrible, that it would last for years. In preparation, God had sent Joseph there, to interpret dreams and help save the people of not only Egypt, but of the surrounding land, including his very own family. Joseph had realized in his heart, that God had used his sorrow, for a very special purpose.
We all face hardships in our life. As I look back on mine, I think of some of the cruel things that people have done to me. I remember the tears that stung my eyes as I begged God to release me from the pain I was going through at that moment. Even though those times are tough and can even be painful to look back on, I began to realize that God taught me some amazing and valuable lessons through each of those moments. I learned about God's grace, His true love for us, and how He wants us to love one another. He showed me true patience. Sure, there are times when the devil likes to remind me how someone has hurt me and my mind begins to seek revenge! Then God begins to remind me of how He used me, and helped me grow in each of those times.
As painful memories creep up, I encourage you to begin to pray over them and ask God to reveal to you the good that took place in those moments of misery. They can sometimes be very hard to see with our mortal, imperfect eyes, but let us allow the Holy Spirit to show us how we have grown through those tough times. Let us also forgive those who have done wrong to us and leave it in God's hands. Remember, there may have been times that we may have hurt others and would want them and God to forgive us.