I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! – Genesis 45:4
Many of us have heard the dramatic story of Joseph in the book of Genesis. This young man gets abused and sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. He suffers greatly in prison and in other circumstances. Finally in an amazing turn of events, God brings him to a great place of prominence where he is one of the most powerful people in the known world. Many of us have had terrible things done to us in this life, and if we have not, just wait, it is coming. This world is full of hurt lives where we are sinned against in great ways. Joseph had such a great terrible thing done to him, his brothers even contemplated murdering him in the beginning. Now he was in the position and had the power to exact perfect vengeance to them. But what did he do? He forgave them completely. He actually was in such a place of realizing God’s grace and he did not even bring up any of their sins and details of what they did but just wanted to bless them! Jesus teaches us to bless our enemies (Matthew 5:44) To bless those who curse us (Luke 6:28). To “never avenge yourselves” (Romans 12:19). Bless those who persecute you (Romans 12:14). Joseph does not tell his brothers that he was the “one you sold into Egypt” to condemn them, rather he really wanted them to know he was their brother and he loved them greatly still. How do we get to the place where we can bless our brothers in the body of Christ that sin against us? How can we even get to the place were we can forgive enemies in this world?
We are called to forgive but blessing seems like it's too much. When we forgive at times we actually still secretly hope they will be exposed or judged for their sin, or at the judgment seat they will get what's coming to them. Such thinking is not forgiveness but a form of vengeance masked in a guise of spiritual humility. When we truly forgive someone as Christ forgives us, we need to come to the place where we can bless them and desire God’s blessing also on their lives. Do you realize God will actually bless your enemies and pour his grace and favour on their lives? Think of anyone that you have had or have ought against, think of their face and person, do you want that person blessed? It takes brokenness to bless others who hurt you. Joseph went through terrible circumstances but God was bringing him to a place of nothingness where he could share in the sufferings of Christ and have the heart of God. In the end when we bless and forgive others we will be blessed by God himself. God wants to anoint those who are free from bitterness in their Christian lives. Heavenly Father, I release, forgive and also bless that individual who caused me harm and hurt. In Jesus Name please bless them with your favour and forgiveness. Amen.