Are you struggling to forgive? Has someone hurt you deeply? Do you come from a highly dysfunctional or abusive family? The life of Joseph may have a message for you. I recently finished Shawn Lantz's eight-week Bible study Encountering the Healing Power of Forgiveness (Living with Unmet Desires). The study focuses on Joseph's family starting with Abraham and ending with the death of Joseph.
This is the best study I have ever done about the patriarchs! Shawn takes the time to reveal all the dysfunction in their family which eventually leads to the miraculous story of Joseph's forgiveness of his brothers. I learned why the brothers did what they did in regards to Joseph...some of it is surprising...concepts that I have never thought of before. Here is just a little glimpse of some of the profound truths that I learned:
Jealousy and unforgiveness tend to walk hand-in-hand.
Too often we do not endure the wrestling for the blessing.
Only God can redeem the very experiences we were sure would be the end of us.
A home that is characterized by jealousy, deceit, and favoritism is like a volcano ready to erupt.
We are most like Jesus at the point in which we forgive. For me, forgiveness has been a life long struggle. Like Joseph, I have had some painful and bizarre circumstances that I have had to learn to let go of and forgive. Forgiveness is not easy, but it is the best thing I have ever done besides making a commitment to Christ! The struggle to forgive is so worth it for the freedom on the other side! I would encourage you to check out Shawn's study if you are going through some type of hurt or dealing with a person that seems impossible.