May 7, 2009
Resting Our Minds, Part Two
by Charles R. Swindoll
How could Joseph forgive his brothers who had mistreated him so badly? We saw it yesterday: plain and simple, he left all vengeance to the Lord. To use our terms, Josephrested and relaxed, trusting in His God.
At the climax of this great story, we read the secret of Joseph's life:
His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, "Behold, we are your servants." But Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in God's place? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive." (Genesis 50:18-20)
Question: How could Joseph respond like that? Why didn't he feel angry and seek to have them punished? Answer: He could forgive them because his mind focused on the sovereignty of God. Rather than nursing hatred and plans for revenge, he deliberately took the long view and realized that God, who "causes all things to work together for good" (Romans 8:28), had a plan for saving Joseph's own family---and that would never have happened had Joseph not been in Egypt where he was promoted to a role of leadership that gave him authority of that vast food supply.
To use our terms, he mentally rested and relaxed. Because he made the Lord his God the center of his focus, good resulted from all that evil. And in the meantime, Joseph enjoyed an inner peace rather than inner torment. It's exactly as the prophet Isaiah once wrote:
"The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever,
For in God the LORD , we have an everlasting Rock." (Isaiah 26:3-4)
So much for Joseph---now it's your turn. For you to have that kind of "perfect peace," for you to enjoy a life of mental rest and relaxation, you need to lay aside the hatchet, erase your mental hit list, and forgive all those who have done you wrong. Start that process today.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.