Forgiving others frees us from our own self-made prison. In our reading today Joseph has forgiven his brothers, but will they believe him?
Genesis 45:3-11 Joseph Reveals His Identity
Joseph could stand it no longer. There were many people in the room, and he said to his attendants, “Out, all of you!” So he was alone with his brothers when he told them who he was. 2 Then he broke down and wept. He wept so loudly the Egyptians could hear him, and word of it quickly carried to Pharaoh’s palace.
3 “I am Joseph!” he said to his brothers. “Is my father still alive?” But his brothers were speechless! They were stunned to realize that Joseph was standing there in front of them. 4 “Please, come closer,” he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. 5 But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. 6 This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 7 God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. 8 So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.
9 “Now hurry back to my father and tell him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me master over all the land of Egypt. So come down to me immediately! 10 You can live in the region of Goshen, where you can be near me with all your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and everything you own. 11 I will take care of you there, for there are still five years of famine ahead of us. Otherwise you, your household, and all your animals will starve.’ ”
Today as you read this you maybe wrestling with unforgiveness and this devotion may remind you of that problem. Forgiving others can be so difficult that we can’t do it on our own and we need to cry out to the Lord to help us in our time of desperation. Forgiving others brings healing to ourselves and breaks the chains the enemy is using to hold you captive. Forgiving others often starts as a decision of surrender – an act of our will. This surrender invites God to begin working in our lives in a deeper level, allowing God to heal us.
If you are willing to
forgive, but you are unsure how, consider the prayer below:
Heavenly Father I need your help and your wisdom. Today I have gained a better understanding of forgiving others and with your help, I fully forgive from my heart. Just as you have freely forgiven me, I forgive them. Heavenly Father, I ask you to forgive me for hurting others out of my own hurt and to heal my relationships with others. I pray all of this in Jesus’ precious name and by whom all forgiveness and healing was made possible. Thank you for loving me in ways I’ll never understand. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ge 45). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.