“Repay no one evil for evil. Have a regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” ( Romans 12:17-19).
When Joseph’s brother quite assured they had dispensed with him, one day out of nowhere, suddenly stood before him, he had a choice. Either to exact revenge or forgive. Once after a botched attempt to murder him only saved by selling him to slave traders ( Genesis 37: 18-34), God had miraculously blessed him to become the second most important official in Egypt after Pharaoh. “Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt” ( Gen 41: 44).
It was now within his powers to order the death of his once tormentors. But after some lingering moments Joseph chose to forgive all!
What happened thereafter shows the power of forgiveness. God would shower even more blessings on Joseph’s life. He served profitably as Premier leaving behind a prosperous community.
Now think for a moment. If Joseph had not forgiven what would have been the consequences? He would have become a prisoner of his once captors being tortured with hate. This would have blocked blessings in his life as he would be tied down with how to inflict pain on his old captors. But by forgiving he freed himself of all that!
When Christ told us to forgive ( Mathew 18:21-22) actually it was for our good! We forgive because if we do not we are the ones who hurt ourselves most. More so, we deny ourselves the blessings that do come from forgiveness!
Of course if you have been hurt, and who hasn’t, forgiveness is a process. But in the end one must dig deep and rise above all the hurt and forgive - for God to release his blessing upon your life!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, forgiveness helps release blessings upon us, and may I with your power not hold on to the hurt where I have been done wrong, but forgive to experience your full blessings, this I pray in Jesus’ name.
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!