When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they were afraid he would retaliate against them. So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father commanded us before he died, saying, ‘You are to say to Joseph, “I beg you, please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin.” ’ Now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers went and fell down before him. But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? Vengeance is His, not mine! As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present outcome, that many people would be kept alive.
- Paraphrase from the book of Genesis
We see that Joseph was in a position to choose punishment for his brothers, who greatly hurt him in one of the most awful ways. When his brothers sold him into slavery, Joseph went through many years of suffering. But the Lord turned what was meant for evil into great blessings! Instead of being bitter toward his brothers and enslaving them or killing them, he forgave them and was able to bless them with the abundance that the Lord gave him.
There are many ways we can be hurt in this life. Some things that hurt you may not even bother me. Every situation is different for each person because we all have different personalities. But we also all have a choice. In Joseph’s situation, most would say he had the right to do whatever he wanted to with his brothers, who were now at his mercy. He asked them, “Am I in the place of God?”
Sometimes, when we are hurt or don’t agree with someone, we’ve got to understand that the Lord is the judge between you and me. Just as your brother or sister is not perfect in every way, you are not perfect in every way. We live in a fallen world, full of sin and have relationships with imperfect people. The ruler of this world is Satan, who influences people to hurt one another. As a Christian, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can walk in love. But still no one is perfect at communication and love in any relationship. We pray for the Lord’s will to be done, for His kingdom to come, but flaws stick out sometimes.
Pray and let the Lord be the judge!
For the horses of Pharaoh went with his war-chariots and his charioteers into the sea, and the Lord brought back the waters of the sea on them, but the sons of Israel walked on dry land in the middle of the sea.
Then Miriam took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her with timbrels and dancing. Miriam answered them,“Sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously and is highly exalted;The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea.” Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went into the Wilderness. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water… The water may have been like that of the Dead Sea, which has such a high salt content that it is bitter, and the natural reaction when attempting to sample it is to spit it out immediately… The people grumbled at Moses… There the Lord made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there God tests His people to see if they are learning from past experiences and growing in spiritual maturity. He tested them, saying, “If you will diligently listen and pay attention to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and listen to His commandments, and keep all His precepts and statutes, then I will not put on you any of the diseases which I have put on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”
– Paraphrased from the book of Exodus
In this passage from Exodus, we see that Miriam praised the Lord greatly, in song after the Lord delivered the Israelites. But as soon as they got a little further into the wilderness and encountered another problem, they complained. The water was bitter and they couldn’t drink it. Instead of praying, they complained. The Lord heard them and had Moses intercede for them.
We must learn to give thanks for the goodness the Lord has instilled in our lives, instead of looking for every little fault. Instead of complaining, pray and be grateful for every way the Lord has blessed you!
When others hurt us, pray for them, forgive, and keep it moving. If we don’t like something, don’t be bitter or ungrateful, but ask the Lord for change! But know that the change He does may not be in your situation, but in your own heart.
May the Lord bless you and keep you all the days of your life, and may you always dwell in His house! I pray this word has blessed you, Sister, Brother. In the name of Jesus!