• Rev. Mark Tews

Genesis 46:3, 50:19-21

“’I am God, the God of your father,’ He said. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there.’” (Genesis 46:3). “But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.’ And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.” (Genesis 50:19–21).


In spite of the fact that they had sold him into slavery and told their father that he was dead, Joseph forgave his brothers. He fulfilled God’s promise and the children of Israel went down to Egypt without fear and indeed eventually became a “great nation.” If we want to live without fear in this life, we have to let go of the hurt. We have to forgive those who hurt us. If we don’t, we give them power over us that they don't deserve and we allow fear to rule over us.


You see, to win in the game of life, it requires giving into an unpopular topic: forgiveness. And as Joseph learned, forgiveness is a necessary ingredient for spiritual success. It’s not just about doing what we want to do; it’s about doing what’s right by God, even when we can’t see the outcome. The chance to do great things will show up in life, but the question is: “Will we be ready or will we miss out because of an unforgiving heart?”


DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN GRUDGES. IT WILL AFFECT YOUR FAITH.

If we could cultivate the habit of seeing God behind causes, our hearts would be kept free from fear, wrath, and bitterness. We have to be careful not to be like those that avenge themselves, because we step into the place of God when we do that. We have to focus on what God intends and not who puts us in a dungeon or in a palace. The truth is, both places lie on the road which God has marked out for us. “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14–15).


DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN GRUDGES. IT WILL AFFECT YOUR FAMILY.

Although our future outlook may be cloudy, we must understand that great promises are intertwined within our family. Remember the fulfilment of God’s promise that Israel would become a great nation came during the time of enslavement in Egypt, as their families were “provided for” there in a time of famine. God’s legacy of forgiveness extends from generation to generation as we humbly receive His gift of mercy in Christ and pass it on to others. God fulfilled Joseph’s dreams and made him a greater blessing to his family than otherwise he could have been. “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:9).


DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN GRUDGES. IT WILL AFFECT YOUR FUTURE.

Dwelling on the past paralyzes the present and bankrupts the future. God often brings good out of evil and promotes the designs of His providence, even by the sins of men. God does not want us to be imprisoned by the shadows of yesterday, but to be free for today and walk in the hope of tomorrow. Always remember this: God’s forgiveness is the doorway to all new beginnings, so don’t get caught up in deadly grudges. If the fear of past hurts or grudges have kept you away from the fellowship in God’s house, now is the time to forgive, now is the time to begin anew. Be not afraid.