Accepting forgiveness…

forgivenessWhen I look back over the years, I can find too many wrong decisions I know God has forgiven me for. How I wish I could forget them though the lessons I learned as a result are worth remembering. Forgiving others for wrongs done to us can be very difficult… accepting that we have been forgiven can be very challenging as well. Check out Joseph’s brothers again…

Jacob’s health was failing so he called his children in, blessed them, and asked them to bury him in Canaan with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, and Leah. After his death, Jacob was embalmed by the Egyptians then carried back home by his family and many Egyptian dignitaries.

Upon their return to Egypt, the brothers worried that with their father dead and gone Joseph might repay them for how they wrongly treated him years before. They decided to try to cover themselves by sending a message to Joseph supposedly from their father asking Joseph again to forgive his brothers for their actions. Joseph’s reaction surprises me…


“When their message came to him, Joseph wept.” Genesis 50:17


What caused his tears we can only conjecture at but I tend to believe he felt sorry for them. The brothers should have been celebrating the goodness of the Lord who took their mistreatment of Joseph and worked such an elaborate plan that took years just to save them. Instead, they lived in fear that their past mistakes were going to come back to bite them. They struggled to accept the forgiveness Joseph so freely gave them and that saddened Joseph.

Skip ahead several hundred years to 2015. I wonder how many of us have received forgiveness from our Savior but fail to walk in it? Do we live each day waiting for the other shoe to drop and receive the punishment we know we deserve for our past? Don’t you know we make God, like Joseph, sad when we don’t live in the forgiveness he so freely gives us? Yes, we’ve made mistakes… some small… some very BIG… yet if God has forgiven us, we should be walking with a different mindset! According to Psalm 103:12, God has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west… so let’s not keep walking in defeat! Instead let us praise the God who could so completely forgive us… let us walk on in victory! May our hearts be light! Let’s share the good news of this Jesus who has so completely forgiven us! Amen!

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