A Little Forgiveness, Please?
Updated: Feb 12, 2020
February 3, 2020
The Patriarchs ~ Week 9
Special Guest Writer, Averi V.L. Allison
Good Morning Princesses!
It’s already the first week of February! We are officially one month into the new year! As January ends and a new month begins, it is always a good time for a forgiveness reminder. This is the time New Year's resolutions are really tested. According to the December 17, 2012, HowStuffWorks.com article by Patrick J. Kiger, "10 New Year's Resolutions You Might Actually Keep" making the top 10 list as number seven was, you guessed it...forgiveness.
When others wrong you God tells us to forgive, yet the enemy can use this moment of actually forgiving as an opportunity to shift our focus away from forgiving into not forgetting. In some cases, we may even become "convinced" that the person doesn't deserve our forgiveness. While forgiveness is essential for our wellbeing, according to the article, it is listed as a resolution you "might actually keep", however, someone bigger and wiser reminds us that with Him all things are possible. Psalm 119:105 tells us that God's word
...is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
(Also see, Matthew 6:14-15; Mark 11:25; Luke 17:3-4; Ephesians 4:31-32; 2 Corinthians 5:17)
1. A Little Forgiveness, Please?
It’s funny how much forgiveness ties in with Joseph's story (Genesis Chapters 37, 39-50). Despite the many trials and hurdles, Joseph encountered on his journey (sold into slavery, falsely accused, imprisoned, forgotten and the list goes on...), God was present with Joseph during those times. In fact, He knew Joseph’s entire journey from Canaan to Egypt.
“The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered”. (Genesis 39:2; 21; 23) Most importantly, because the Lord was with Joseph, “He gave him success in whatever he did”. (v. 23)
However, there still remained a nagging hurdle for Joseph. The ultimate test…forgive when it mattered the most? To forgive when you're wronged by the people you trust the most.
As we read Genesis Chapters 42 - 45 realize that Joseph struggled with forgiveness just like you and me. However, in spite of betrayal, loss, accusations, and ridicule, there was still a plan.
In our own lives, there will be setbacks, (so-called) inconveniences, loss, failure, and even betrayal. But through prayer and faith, as Christians, we can trust that God will see us through. Like Joseph, to overcome his hurdles, we will need God's love, mercy, goodness, grace, and love. It is not a coincidence that this is the reading as we make our way into 2020. God is always at work in our lives. He is always “coaching us up”, teaching us through life’s challenges that our life is not our own. He is our navigator. The only way we can get through the storms of life, whether it be forgiveness, our own mental wellness, or caring for others is with God directing our path.
2. Fix Your Focus ~ A Bigger Plan
Here's another interesting fact about Joseph. His story is about more than just forgiveness. It is also about how God’s plan for our lives is ever-present even if we can't see it.
Joseph knew that the Lord was with him through his times of trial, regardless of what happened. In fact, when we look deeper into this story, it was not all about betrayal and loss either. In the end, Joseph came to understand exactly the assignment that only he could fulfill.
As found in Genesis 45:7, “But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” God, displays his strength daily by showing us light in times of darkness.
So dear princesses, as children of the Almighty, fix your focus, we have a brave new year to demonstrate Christ’s love, peace, patience, joy, and forgiveness.
I hope that this week’s overview of Joseph’s story gives you a new perspective about forgiveness, trials and God's ever-present plan. Instead of deciding to forgive and not forget, remember God's word to light your pathway to forgive (forgive because the Lord forgave you). Instead of thinking “woe is me”, because of a hardship, consider the hardship as a strength builder. Consider your waiting (or what we think is an inconvenience) as a faith builder. Remember that our trials are God’s way of showing us that in spite of and like Joseph, “the Lord is with [us]”. Genesis 39:23
Enjoy this week's playlist. We hope it gives you that extra push to keep persevering. Know that you have the Lord on your side. Let your light shine and remember to Lead, Serve, and GO!
Oh, princesses of faith...remember
Prayer “empowers and ‘charges up’ every other piece so they can be used effectively against the enemy. Without prayer… your armor, cannot, will not, be infused with the power that only God’s-Spirit can give."
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Know that through the Holy Spirit you can:
do things you couldn't;
feel things you didn't; and
know things you wouldn't.
GO! 2/3/20- New feature, contains a playlist of songs for your praise and worship time.
SAVE THE DATE! 2020 WEN Symposium-Check out the GO! website ~ 2020 WEN Symposium on Saturday, April 25th from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm at Malone University. Mark your calendars and save the date!
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SPREAD THE WORD...
See you on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 @6:00 pm, the Stark Main Library (Innovation Center).
Remember, each day is an opportunity for us to... Lead, Serve, and GO!