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Day by Day - May 6, 2009

May 6, 2009

Resting Our Minds, Part One
by Charles R. Swindoll

Genesis 50:18-20

Throughout the past few devotionals, we've concentrated our attention on the value of allowing our bodies sufficient time to rest. As important as that is, there is another rest that is equally important---resting our minds.

I'm referring here to releasing the things that drag us down and torment us. As we shall see, God has a much better plan. He wants us to trust Him, to let Him handle all of that, rather than churning and worrying. When we strain and struggle, we end up mentally exhausted. When we release to Him the details we cannot handle, He takes charge and . . . we relax!

There once lived a man named Joseph, who was the youngest in a very large family. All of his brothers were jealous of him, so they turned against him, mistreated him, and finally sold him to a caravan of strangers: "Out of sight, out of mind" was their thinking. How unfair!

Long story short, the brothers returned home, lied to their daddy, telling him that Joseph had been killed . . . and Joseph wound up in Egypt. He was then sold as a common slave and was forced while still a teenager to begin another life in a country far removed from home. After more unfair treatment, including his being falsely accused of rape, serving a prison sentence, and being left and forgotten in an Egyptian dungeon for years, he was finally released. And---would you believe it?---he ultimately became the prime minister of Egypt, serving as the Pharaoh's right-hand man. Among many other huge responsibilities, he was in charge of overseeing the vast food supply for that nation. The man went from the pit to the pinnacle---that's when things got really interesting.

A famine struck the entire region of land---a severe famine. It became so extreme that those same brothers, who had heard that Egypt had grain in abundance, traveled there to meet with the prime minister (!), not knowing that he was their long-lost younger brother. To cut to the chase, when they found out, panic set in. They anticipated his revenge to the maximum, paying them back for all the wrong they had done to him. It never happened. Joseph had refused to become resentful and bitter, even though those men deserved the severest of punishments.

Instead of retaliating, Joseph forgave them.

How could he? Plain and simple, he left all vengeance to the Lord. To use our terms, Josephrested and relaxed, trusting in His God.

Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.

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