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THE HEALING IN FORGIVENESS

Posted on Sun, Jul 13, 2008

There is healing in forgiveness. But from the view of our weak humanity, it is certainly difficult to forgive those who have wronged us with just a flip of the finger. Nevertheless, if we, for a moment stop to compare our situations with and reflect on the ill-treatments, pain and heartache that the biblical Joseph received from his brothers, such trouble as Joseph had makes any suffering pale by comparison. Joseph’s standard and example in forgiveness shames us all when we hold on to hurts.

It is difficult to name an individual in this world who has never been wronged and has had no moment of hurt. I think it is rare because wrongs come in different shape and form. And people are wronged and offended for different reasons.  It should not be strange because offenses and pains are some of the tribulations against which Jesus Christ had warned us “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

However, when the pains are inflicted on us, for how long do we allow them to afflict us? Jesus said “let not the sun go down upon your wrathEphesians 4:26   Obedience to this warning, as in observing  other principles from the word of God is for our sake because any  hurt that over stays the sun set can be injurious, not only to our relationship with God which  it grieves, but it can seriously damage our health when our emotions are imprisoned in pain with  us continually remembering the offenses. From here come sicknesses as well as heartache, despondency, sorrow, and much more.  The answer is FORGIVENESS

 

There is healing in forgiveness. But from the view of our weak humanity, it is certainly difficult to forgive those who have wronged us with just a flip of the finger. Nevertheless, if we, for a moment stop to compare our situations with and reflect on the ill-treatments, pain and heartache that the biblical Joseph received from his brothers, such trouble as Joseph had makes any suffering pale by comparison. Joseph’s standard and example in forgiveness shames us all when we hold on to our hurts.

Joseph was a child separated by God for His purpose. We too, have been set apart by God for a purpose. Do you know God’s purpose for your life? Even if you do not, there is need for patience for God’s purpose in your life to be fulfilled? For Joseph to fulfill God’s plan in his life, he had to go through huge trials. He patiently endured and carefully depended on God every step of the way. He could have compromised his reliance on God amidst human deliberate wickedness; instead he tolerantly waited and remained true to his love for God.   These trails prepared and matured him for his call. What trial are you facing currently? Trust and obey God and simply call upon Him. He says when you call on Him “I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him” Psalms 91:15.  God delivered Joseph and honored him. Trust and obey because your victory is near.

When the hard time in Joseph’s life had passed, and it would have been his pay-back time against his brothers who had terribly wronged him, Joseph staggered not at the power of God and chose revenge, but like Abraham, he was strong in faith, giving glory to God in all his seeming mishap. And in forgiveness, he said this to his brothers: “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” 

He so much knew that his seeming calamity were divinely orchestrated that he called the name of his firstborn Manasseh:- For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house Genesis 41:51   God was   the cause of Joseph's forgetting. Not his own character, not teeth grinding effort, not mental self-trickery.

 

We must determine to forgive and put the offence in God's hand. Then - only then, will He extract the terrible pain from our soul. When the pain is "forgotten" from a memory, the memory of it becomes irrelevant.  God can do this if you give Him the chance.

 

“God has made me forget”   It might be a great human stretch to forgive such
heinous treatment. How could he keep his mind free of the terrible suffering? He said God made me forget. When we abandon the injuries on God, He alone is able to bear the hurts and free our minds from the ready intrusion of all negative remembrances of the injuries.

 

 STOP AND THINK

And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house

God heals the soul of the one who forgives. To remember the incident is still possible but when the pain is gone, what matters the wrong? Joseph was not trapped by anguish of the past in a cage of bitterness, so the bars in his unjust prison finally opened. He was released into his astonishing "now" and became fully involved in the joy of his present. The wording of the following song from Martin Luther so clearly expresses the theme of this reliance on God for forgiveness:

“A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/m/i/mightyfo.htm

To forget the pain .is the miracle of complete forgiveness, and the fruit of God's grace. Forgiveness deeply imbibed Joseph and permeated him to the marrow of his soul. This is when forgiveness is medicinal and wholly curative. This can be your lot and experience too. Realize that we are the apple of God’s eyes. And God deeply loves us. If He allows trials to come our ways, no matter the hurts or from whomever it comes, certainly, we should be persuaded that He has a purpose in it. We should be courageous and remember this principle “let not the sun go down upon your wrath”   "Those who suffer in accordance with the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right." I Peter 4:19 NAS

God, whose children we are, is the Father of unending graciousness. He will cause His face to shine upon you in His time. But we must be ready to forgive when offenses are inflicted on us, remembering that offenses and trials are to prepare and mature us for His work. Do not relent in your goodness amidst injustices or obvious depravity.  He says “Can a woman forget her sucking child that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me” Isaiah 49:16

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