One of my favorite authors, Lysa Terkeurst in her book, “Forgiving What You Can’t Forget” makes this statement based on the life of Joseph – “we do not serve a ‘do nothing God.’” This statement must be taken by faith. Joseph suffered 13 years during his pit-palace-prison journey (see Genesis 37-41).
As women, we can take a lesson from Joseph’s life. As Virtuous Sisters, we share the same struggle of waiting for God’s timing. Whether we are bound in destructive marriages or dreading a life of singlehood, we can begin to feel God has forgotten all about us. I am sure Joseph had high plans for himself when he shared his dream with his jealous brothers. I am sure Joseph had no idea he would end up in a pit left to die. Once he was sold to Potiphar, I am sure he may have felt exonerated. But, only for a short time, because soon he was wrongfully accused and thrown into prison. Just when it seemed God had forgotten about His faithful servant, Joseph was released from prison and raised to the most powerful position in Egypt next to Pharoah.
My Virtuous Sisters, we can also be tempted to believe the lie that God has forgotten us. I know the discouragement of praying for a miraculous change in your marriage and end up in the pit of despair. I am acquainted with a marriage of short-lived intervals of happiness only to be shattered by selfishness again. Whether you are in a painful marriage or single and dissatisfied, the pain of being wrongfully accused and rejected because of your choice to follow Jesus is hard to take. Believe me when I tell you God is always working to overturn the plans of the enemy in order to accomplish His plans for the lives of His daughters. I am a living witness of the fact that whatever and whoever you are forced to give up for Christ, He will restore 100-fold. I am an example of a Genesis 50:20 blessing and so can you.
But, it will cost you to be a Genesis 50:20 blessing.
- It will cost you to develop binocular vision. You must be able to look into both reality and spiritual lenses in order to have clear vision. This would mean acknowledging the wrong that was done to you while keeping your eye upon what the Lord is doing in the background. Faith and trust is believing in the unseen (Hebrews 11:1).
- It will cost you to relinquish the end of your story for the hope offered through trusting the Lord and keeping praise upon your lips (see Psalm 103:1). You cannot continue to recount the wrongs done to you, this will lead you into fear and bitterness rather than trusting in a God Who is able to sympathize and willing to give you a hope and a future (see Hebrews 4:12 and Jeremiah 29:11).
- It will cost you to forgive and live. The End of Forever, Chapter 2, reads: “It was not until I acknowledged my part of the failure of the marriage that God’s grace began to deliver me. The road signs ahead read, “Accept forgiveness from God.” Another sign read, “Forgive your spouse.” Another sign read, “Forgive yourself.” These signs pointed toward tons of hard work, emotional and spiritual healing, and growth. But I was ready to take the time out to prepare myself for it. I encourage everyone [My Virtuous Sisters] to accept the gift of healing offered by God through His Word, prayer, and satisfying intimacy with Him.”
Power of compassion
Through compassion, we can acknowledge the brokenness of others that blinds them to their own sinful behavior. This view of others empowers us to forgive even though reconciliation may be impossible. We learn to leave others in the hands of God and not ours.
Forgive and live
True forgiveness does not always mean reconciliation but is required for the spiritual restoration of our souls. Initially, forgiveness is a choice, then a long-term process that prevents the enemy from filling our hearts with hatred and bitterness. Forgiveness is the good fight of faith that promises good soldiers the crown of life (2 Timothy 2:3 and James 1:12).