There is no better example of enormous courage than we see in Joseph when he lived in Egypt. Joseph was treated horribly by his own brothers! Did he have a right to hold a grudge? Was this a time for depression? Years later when his brothers were starving, Joseph, with God’s help, was ruling Egypt which was the only country with food. What a great chance to get revenge! How much hatred could have been shown? Joseph chose a better way. He made his life’s story a learning opportunity for us today. He followed what we learn from the New Testament in Matthew 5:44. What is Jesus’ advice? How are we to treat our enemies? Jesus commands us to love our enemies and to pray for them. Luke (6:27) also recorded Jesus saying to love our enemies; do what is good to those who hate you. Continue reading to verse 35 for more sound advice from Jesus, our Savior.
Let us flashback to Joseph’s story of self-encouragement. When we become heartsick, we can tell ourselves that God can do exceedingly and abundantly more than we ask and that He knows what we need before we ask Him. Our methods of gaining spiritual strength, coupled with God’s guidance, will lead us to new victories from one need to the next. We can quote God’s promise and pray for ourselves. Psalm 30:5 tells us that “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” With God’s help, our joy will return! Joseph’s kindness (Genesis 50) restored the family.
What does not destroy us makes us stronger. Let us continue encouraging ourselves because the bigger the battle, the bigger the victories. Recalling the worst time in his life, Joseph said, “God turned into good what you meant for evil” (Genesis 50:20). He still does that. People do not control our destiny, God does. Let us regroup, refocus and resolve to press on to achieve higher goals!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.