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Forgiveness

Forgiveness

And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. (Genesis 50:16, 17 KJV)

You know the story of how Joseph’s half brothers hated him and they sold him as a slave and killed a goat and soaked his coat in blood and made his father Jacob to think he had been killed by a wild animal.

Joseph is sold into Egypt but God is with him. God reveals Pharaohs dreams to Jacob, when no one else could interpret them. Pharaoh makes him ruler over Egypt next only to Pharaoh.

So after a great famine, Joseph’s brothers go to Egypt to buy corn, and after their second trip Joseph reveals who he is, and eventually their Father Jacob and the whole family moves to Egypt.

After Jacobs death the brothers are afraid that Joseph will take revenge now, so they send this request for forgiveness and Joseph wept.

Joseph probably wept because he had already forgiven them a long time ago.

As Christians, we have to forgive. Remember the parable Jesus told about the man that owed a debt he could not pay and his master ordered him to be put in prison, and all that he had to be sold, and he fell down at his masters feet and cried be patient with me and I’ll pay thee all. The master had pity and forgave all the debt. But then that same man went out to one who owed him much less than what he had been forgiven for. The man did him the same way in asking him to be patient and he would pay him, but he wouldn’t have mercy on the man and had him cast into prison.
When his Lord found out, he said shouldn’t you have had mercy, like I had pity on you? So he put the debt back on him and sent him to the tormentors for the debt to be paid.

I don’t want my sin debt put back on me. I’m thankful for the forgiveness my Master shown me. Even though those people have not asked me for forgiveness, I forgive them anyway.

Now Joseph tells his brothers, you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good, to save much people alive.
Romans 8:28 says And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

I found a light hearted story that I want to share. I don’t know who wrote it. I didn’t get an Authors name but I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s a funny story about how sometimes things seem bad but God uses them for good.

Glasses
There was a man during the Great Depression who was a carpenter, who one Saturday volunteered his services at his Church to build some crates for some materials that had been gathered to send to an orphanage in china. So he spent his Saturday building crates and nailing them up and finally took them to the post office and sent them off to china. Later he was in his pickup truck going home and reached for his glasses, when he couldn’t find them, he realized that they must have fallen off inside one of the crates and they were on their way to china. And he said, Lord, I’m trying to serve you and now this! (We’ve probably all said something like that out of frustration before). This was during the Great Depression so the glasses probably seemed like a fortune to replace. Well anyway, a year past and the director of that orphanage in China came to the US and to the little Church and spoke to the congregation and said, I would like to thank you for those crates that you sent. It was during war time and communists had came through and ransacked the orphanage, so it was timely gifts. But he said, most of all, I’d like to thank you for the glasses! The congregation looked at each other surprised. Glasses? There were no glasses on the list. There was a carpenter in the back row whose ears perked up though. He said the Commies came through and destroyed everything and they destroyed my glasses. He said with it being war time we didn’t have the means to replace them and as a result I was getting terrible daily head aches. He said my staff was praying fervently for God to somehow provide glasses. He said, when those crates arrived, and they pulled the tops off, they saw sitting right on top a pair of glasses. They immediately brought them to me and I tried them on and they were the perfect prescription. The congregation was saying praise God, Hallelujah, not knowing where the glasses came from. But in the back was a carpenter with tears streaming down his face because he realized the Master Carpenter did know what he was doing.

We can be assured that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

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Can You Miss God’s Will for Your Life?

Can You Miss God’s Will for Your Life?

by Stephen Altrogge

Decision making can be a paralyzing experience.

Say, for example, that you have been offered a new job in a different state? Should you take it? Well, it depends. What are the schools like in the area? What is the traffic like? Are there any nuclear power plants nearby? Is the increased salary worth the emotional cost of moving your family? Will you be forced to root for the Dallas Cowboys? All these different factors can make it difficult to decide.

Now, throw the whole issue of God’s will into the mix? Is it really God’s will for you to move? It seems like it’s God’s will, but maybe it’s not. What if you make a terrible mistake and somehow miss the will of God? Are you going to end up in some purgatorial situation because you accidentally missed God’s will?

The fear of missing God’s will is enough to paralyze any Christian. But here’s the question: can a Christian miss the will of God for their life? Could you somehow go your entire life being outside of God’s good plan for you?

It seems that the Bible teaches that, yes, you can miss God’s will. It also teaches that no, you can’t miss God’s will.

The way to miss God’s will is really simple: ignore the Bible. In the Bible God has told us exactly what we should do when it comes to making decisions. First, we should determine if our decision goes against anything clearly spelled out in the Bible. The Bible is clear that fellowship with other believers is necessary for our Christian growth. If taking a job will cut you off from fellowship with others, it’s not God’s will for you to take the job.

Second, we should ask God to give us wisdom. James 1:5–6 says:

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting…

Getting wisdom from God isn’t a mystical, super-spiritual experience. It means asking God to help us think clearly and biblically about the decision in front of us. When we ask for wisdom we should believe God is going to give it to us. God isn’t trying to hide his good will from us. He wants to help us understand the right way to walk.

Third, we should ask the opinion of others. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” This is so gloriously simple. Finding God’s will for your life is as simple as asking the opinion of other, godly Christians. Lay the situation out before them, and then let God speak to you through their counsel.

If we heed the counsel of scripture, we won’t miss God’s will. God isn’t hiding his will, or trying to trick us into making a bad decision. If we evaluate our decision by scripture, ask for wisdom, and then ask the opinion of others, we are doing what God requires of us. He promises to guide us through that process.

We don’t need to seek a subjective, mystical, spiritual feeling when it comes to decision making. Don’t get me wrong; sometimes God gives us peace about a decision, and that’s a blessing. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes we might not feel one way or another about a decision. In general, feelings are a very bad barometer of the truth. A feeling of peace can come from God, but it can also come from a lot of other things, like a glass of wine or a good nap. Plus, what exactly constitutes the “right” feeling when it comes to a decision? Is it peace? Or maybe joy? Or a sense of rightness?

The Bible doesn’t tell us what we’re supposed to feel about our decisions. Instead, it tells us how to make biblical, God-honoring decisions. So, if you have a big decision to make, don’t freak out. Instead, go to the Word, ask for wisdom, and get others involved.

Stephen Altrogge serves as a pastor at Sovereign Grace Church.
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