Jesus said “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
It would be great if we could live in this world, problem free, right? Yet, we know it’s not possible because we contend with evil forces that try to rob us of God’s blessings and His plans and purpose for our lives. Sadly, many do not know that the only answer to overcome emotional damage is Jesus. He is the only source for complete and whole restoration in our lives. When He heals us, He does it thoroughly and removes all the traces linked to our pain.
Take the young man, Joseph, whose world turned upside down when he was betrayed by his brothers who first tried to kill him but instead sold him into slavery. Back home in Jacob’s house, Joseph was the favorite, and as the favorite, he got to sit back and enjoy his father’s love and attention while his brothers worked in the fields. He didn’t have to work like his brothers and they hated him for being loved by their father more than they.
Up until this point, Joseph had everything going for him, after all, he was shown through dreams that he would be in a place of influence and honor. Yet, this sudden turn of events changed everything–he was taken from his home, from all that was familiar, from his comfort zone. Did he deserve this? No! Joseph could have instantly become bitter, hateful and resentful. Yet, I believe he made a decision to trust God because he knew God was faithful. He probably questioned God on why he was sold into slavery. He probably had moments where his faith was challenged and understandably so.
But as he was being driven 300 miles away from his home, driven away from the comfort of his father’s love, he had to learn to trust that God’s plans for him would overcome the loneliness, the betrayal and confusion that resulted from his brothers actions toward him.
Joseph could have spent all his time during that journey wallowing in sadness and anger for how he was mistreated. He could have become a slave to bitterness and unforgiveness towards his brothers. He could have replayed the scenes of his betrayal over and over in his mind to justify his hatred for them.
Yet, Joseph didn’t seem to do that. When he reached Egypt, he did not seem to give in to negativity but rather allowed God to heal his heart which brought freedom and peace to him. We know this because the Bible says in Genesis 39:2 “The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered.”
He seemed to draw close to God during his time of pain and sorrow. He had nothing else to cling to since all was stripped from him. He had to learn to cling to God and depend on Him for everything. Remember, he was in a foreign land where the language, the culture and customs were different than his. He was the minority among the Egyptians. The Egyptians did not know the God of his fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Yet, he drew close to God and continued to worship Him.
I believe it was through prayer and fellowship with God that Joseph understood his enslavement was a part of God’s overall plan. It was part of his development to become a ruler who would someday rule with justice, mercy and love. God gave him peace and he walked in that peace because the Bible says Joseph worked excellently. He thrived in everything he did for his master. He gained favor and was entrusted with great responsibility in his master’s household.
Joseph learned from the Lord to be diligent and trustworthy. He allowed himself to grow and develop skills that he did not have back home. He understood that he should be a blessing and not a burden to his master. I believe that it was his relationship with God that led him into blessing. God blessed Joseph and the work of his hands because he was yielded to Him.
What can we learn and apply from Joseph’s life?
We can learn from Joseph that there may be pain, but there’s also purpose. Sometimes, pain launches us into our destiny. If we allow God to walk with us in the pain, He will extract from us the qualities that make us unique and those qualities lead us into the great plan God has for our lives.
Sadly, though, many of us become consumed with the hurt and damage done to us. We talk about it, think about it and wear the pain on our sleeves because we mistakenly think we will get justice by blaming and accusing those that hurt us. You might think, “well, you don’t understand my situation if you only knew what was done to me, you would be more sympathetic.” Listen, betrayal is betrayal whether it comes in any form (abandonment, rejection, verbal, physical, or sexual abuse). Yes, the enemy of our souls will look for opportunities to use people closest to us to bring pain, hurt, rejection, and hatred into our lives but God promises redemption from it.
Allowing God to heal us when we’re deeply hurt and broken is part of discovering our purpose. Allow the healing process to run its course by drawing close to Jesus. Only He can heal us from the hurt, pain, loss, guilt, and shame. Joseph broke out of mental and emotional slavery by allowing his Heavenly Father to love him into healing. He should have been a statistic but he overcame and God caused him to prosper in every area of his life. If you read the rest of Joseph’s story you learn how God used him mightily to save an entire nation. He would not have been able to lead wounded, yet, he allowed God to heal him of his pain and suffering which led him to make wise decisions and in the end he had mercy and compassion towards the ones who hurt him the most.
God wants to prosper your soul, spirit, mind and body from all wounds. You did not deserve what happened to you. It was painful and it changed you, but it does not define you. God wants to visit you today with His Kindness and Love and heal you then lead you into your purpose. He wants you to walk in forgiveness towards those who harmed you. The Spirit of God releases you today from emotional slavery and sets you as His favorite one. He gives you purpose and you will be a mighty vessel used for His Glory in Jesus Name.
“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.”
Jesus, I surrender to You my hurt, my pain, my sorrow, my brokenness. I know that You are faithful in every way and that You see the deep wound in my soul. You are close to me and save me from all anguish. The devil meant this for evil but You will turn it around for my good. You will build in me a right foundation because I forgive those who hurt me. I release them from their sin towards me and ask that You heal me from the pain of my memories. Create in me a new heart, teach me Your ways that I may walk in complete freedom. You make me whole again. Thank you for being by my side. You will be faithful to complete in me what You started. Bless the work of my hands and cause me to walk in complete victory. I will give You all the Glory for You are so good!
In Jesus Name, Amen.