Right now, is there something in your life that still hurts? Did it just pop up in your mind? Have you already been battling it today? Let me share with you How Gratitude Is The First Step In Healing.
I think about Joseph and how hurt he must have been to be hated by his own family. Sure, his dad loved him, but his mom was gone and who else was there really? And then to top it all off, he was stripped from the one person he knew who loved him.
This reminds me of the destruction of divorce and custody issues. There is never a clean split and people are always left with pain.
IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS, BUT ALSO THANK GOD FOR EVERY MAN
I know that we have all heard that we don’t have to give thanks FOR everything, but to give thanks IN everything. But recently, I was looking at 1 Tim. 2:1-4 and how God says that we are supposed to give thanks for all men. That even means the person who hurt you.
That is a hard pill for me to swallow. I was thinking about that this morning as I was praying for the person who hurt me, but than I tried to find something to thank for God about them. Phew! It wasn’t easy at first, but some things came, slowly.
THE PRISON OF BITTERNESS
I look at Joseph being in prison after being falsely accused and he truly got a bad deal. He was a prisoner for 14 years. What do you think he did for that 14 years? How do you think he dealt with it? For some reason, I think he won the battle of bitterness.
Do you want to know why I think that?
Well, bitterness is like a poison that we spray on a windy day. We try to shoot the person who hurt us, but really it sprays on everyone else and comes back and hits us in the face. It’s a poison that sprays and sprays and sprays through our words and actions. Everyone else feels it and it destroys us from within.
But when Joseph met the baker and the cupbearer, his conversation was about God. He wasn’t going on about the wrong that had been done unto him. He was busy humbly serving the authority above him and his only request was that they would mention him when they could.
GRATEFULNESS TRIUMPHS BITTERNESS
Joseph was finally freed, and he continued serving humbly. His life looked as if he was industrious and not held back by the past. He had continual fellowship with the Lord and sought His wisdom and leading. His actions remind me that our future too is determined by our choices today.
But then I think back about Joseph and how he had to face the people who hurt him. His example of forgiveness is astounding. They had not sought forgiveness. They didn’t even know it was him. For all he knew, they were still the same conniving brothers they had always been. But, he did not seek revenge. In fact, he found that He could praise God for them and for what they had done. (Gen. 50:20)
I don’t believe he had to decide to forgive his brothers right then. I think he chose to forgive them back in prison. I think we too need to forgive other’s and that it will cause us to be freed from our own prison. Bitterness has been proven to physically effect our health and cause blindness, heart problems, and hormone problems. Before we can move forward, we must release the past.
THE FUTURE AND THANKFULNESS
So, today, I want you to practice 1 Timothy 2:1 and start not only praying for the person who did you wrong, but also thanking God for them. I do not know how you can do that, but I know that God can lead your heart as you trust and obey.
I believe that as we obey, we will find that we will find that quiet and peaceable life and that peace that passeth all understanding.
In fact, it is Philippians 4:6-7 that further admonishes us to pray and give thanks and let our requests be made known unto God.
PEACE COMES FROM GOD
Before we can ever have peace within, we must first seek the source of joy and that comes from prayer. I talk about that in my post “Smile Though Your Heart Is Aching” and how joy comes from fellowship with God.
But to find peace one must also understand How Gratitude Is The First Step In Healing and how you can find it as you trust and obey … for there’s no other way … to be happy in Jesus … but to trust and obey.
I hope this can be the motivation and encouragement it takes for you to take that first step.
Keep on friends,