Joseph, a Man of Principles
This past Sunday my pastor wrapped up a series he has presented from the life of Joseph. These have been stirring sermons. They have dealt with the nitty-gritty of life. This last message was no different.
I noticed an outline I jotted down sometime in the past at the end of chapter 50 of Genesis. The notation gives credit to an identity of “From the Pit to the Palace” but no credit as to a name of the presenter.
1. React positively in a negative situation.
2. Do your best in every circumstance. “Bloom where you are planted.”
3. View every life circumstance as training for the future.
4. Try to be a blessing to everyone around you.
5. Understand that faith will stand trials.
That is useful, positive teaching. Here is the outline from my pastor’s message. I was listening; I was not merely perusing old notes.
Genesis 49:33 and Genesis 50:19-21 is the Bible passage and he coupled New Testament teachings with each point. The theme was forgiveness because it is at this point, after the death of Jacob that Joseph’s siblings now felt that Joseph may take revenge for their wrong, evil doings, against Joseph. He said this: 1) I will not play God. (verse 19) It was not Joseph’s place to take vengeance. 2) Joseph saw God in everything. His brothers meant to harm him and it was evil. No doubt about that, but God turned it to good. Humanly speaking, this was not easy for Joseph to do. 3) I will nourish you. He repaid evil for good and 4) I will speak kindly to you. It was the closing remarks that brought tears to my eyes. Pastor Felber said: “God does not forget; He is God; He cannot forget. God chooses to not remember.” It is a choice. We do not need to be bosom buddies with those who wronged us and even meant to hurt us—purposely injure our spirits but, we can choose to not remember. Joseph set the example; Jesus chooses not to remember our sins when we seek His forgiveness.
I have been hurt and moved on because there is no future for those who drag the past behind them. Bitterness is like drinking poison and hoping the person who hurt you dies. I know that. It was so freeing to me to hear those words, “. . . choose to not remember.”
While there are those in America who are deliberately snatching religious freedom from us, I feel sorry for them. Their intentions are selfish and, yes, evil. They do not truly understand freedom. While we need to fight for our freedom, more than that, we need to pray for those who despitefully use us. I see so much anger and wonder how that can prove anything. A steadfast attitude of holding to faith in God is a good starting point.