Our Circumstances: Another Way Of Thinking

Feet and two arrows painted on an alphalt road

Genesis 37:3-36; James 2:1-13; Genesis 45:3-8; Genesis 50:19,20; Romans 12:2,3; Colossians 3:1–4

You remember the story: Jacob showed partiality to Joseph; this angered his brothers and caused them to have bitter hate toward him. It didn’t help that Joseph told his brothers about a dream he had that caused his brothers to hate him more. Every once in a while my wife reminds me and my sons “It’s not what you say but how you say it that causes disputes”. When the opportunity arose his brothers sold him into slavery and then they lied to their father about his death.

Years later a famine arose which caused them to go to Egypt; what the brothers didn’t know was that Joseph through years of suffering had finally risen to power. He in fact was in charge of the whole country including the food. Joseph gives his brothers food, but through various tests by word and deed, he puzzled them, tested their integrity, and raised their level of concern over past guilt.

The day of revelation and reconciliation had finally arrived. Joseph “could not restrain himself” his emotions were so deep and “he wept aloud”. His brothers were still in the room everyone else had left. He then told them “I am Joseph…”; this revelation caused his brothers to become distressingly disturbed and dismayed. He then became even more pointed. He wasn’t just any Joseph; he was the Joseph “whom YOU sold into Egypt” (Genesis 45:3,4); I can picture it in my mind, they were thinking “Oh no! He’s going to take it out on us”. Now for the shocker.

Joseph had to learn to think God’s thoughts after Him. During his humiliation and exultation he learned God is in charge of all his circumstances. This opened the way to forgiveness and reconciliation. “…for God sent me before you to preserve life (v.5). and God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance (v. 6). So now it was not you who sent me here, but God…(v.7)”. “When we refuse to forgive we place ourselves in the prison of self inflicted pain.” – Pastor Ron Schmidt, Davisville Church, sermon on Proverbs 4. It was this perspective that Joseph had which freed him from the burden of unforgiveness.

There are times when we are tormented by our own past sins and from the hurts we received from others. Joseph’s brothers had that happen to them after the death of Jacob in Genesis chapter 50. But this is what Joseph said, ” Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day to save many people alive.(vv.19,20)”.

Will you join me today in changing our view of our circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18)?

Written by Pastor Bob Wood: Pastor Bob is a retired Pastor and a dear friend of America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 39; Proverbs 8

Daily Quote: My circumstance is the will of God, I will be thankful because God is in charge and He promised never to leave me nor forsake me.

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

For the mountains shall depart
And the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you,
Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”
Says the Lord, who has mercy on you. ~Isaiah 54:10

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