“The Hardest Thing, the Best Thing, the Same Thing”
BIG – Week Three
January 28, 2018
Pastor Kris Freeman
Scripture: Genesis 42:1
When Jacob heard that grain was available in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why are you standing around looking at one another? I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Go down there, and buy enough grain to keep us alive. Otherwise we’ll die.”
In recapping the first two weeks of this series, let’s remember that Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery (he was actually sold FIVE times) and ended up in Egypt in the home of a prominent ruler, then later imprisoned on false charges for trying to escape a trap set for him.
Now, Joseph is working for Pharaoh after INTERPRETING the leader’s dreams. A famine has hit the home land of Jacob and he sends his sons to Egypt to get grain.
Since Joseph was governor of all Egypt and in charge of selling grain to all the people, it was to him that his brothers came. When they arrived, they bowed before him with their faces to the ground. Joseph recognized his brothers instantly, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where are you from?” he demanded.
The brothers didn’t know it was Joseph – but this event fulfilled the dreams he had told them that originally led to their JEALOUSY. Now, after testing them, he REVEALS himself to his brothers.
(45:3) “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. “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.
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. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.
God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. 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.
Forgiveness is the HARDEST thing and the BEST thing that is also the SAME thing.
Three channels for forgiveness in this story (and in your life):
- The proper PASSAGE of time.
- The wise COUNSEL of patience and perseverance
- The intense and passionate LOVE for doing the right thing (this is the grace of Jesus!)
“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!
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. 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.’”
Here’s how you can learn to forgive:
REMEMBER!!! What often feels like a SET BACK is most likely a SET UP.
1. You can forgive God – even if He didn’t do anything to you.
People legitimately blame God for the MISTAKES of other people. Yet, it is God who works on MISSION in the middle of the mess!
2. You can forgive others – even if they hurt you really badly.
Unforgiveness has NEVER ONCE done anything to help you, redeem you or satisfy you. NEVER!!!!!! Unforgiveness is re-poisoning an already horrible sickness!
Unforgiveness is like picking a sore – it will never HEAL until you take your hands off it.
Joseph had a vested interest in restoration – but maybe you don’t. And that’s ok! But just because you may not can be restored to that person doesn’t mean you have to let unforgiveness destroy you!
3. You can forgive yourself – because the biggest thing we hurt ourselves with is losing faith in God to do the IMPOSSIBLE!
GOD WANTS YOU TO HEAL.