I have a special affection for the story of Joseph.
It speaks about overcoming, forgiveness, perseverance, dreams, and faith.
Joseph suffered physically and psychologically. He was emotionally wounded, saw bonds being broken in all his relationships, and experienced God’s silence for a while. But in every moment, he remained steadfast in his faith and held onto his hope in the promises of the Lord.
Focus on What’s to come
“…Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,”Philippians 3:13
I don’t know if it happens the same for you, but when the end of the year approaches, I feel the need for overcoming. Overcoming the bad things that happened, learning from the difficulties, and leaving them behind, looking forward to the sense of renewal that a new year brings. At this time, I always remember the story of Joseph, which teaches a lot about overcoming, that is, about leaving the past behind and striving to achieve every dream we have.
After everything Joseph went through, he was elevated to a position of great influence and power in Egypt, becoming an instrument to save his people from famine.
The one who experienced hunger, poverty, forgetfulness, sadness, and the feeling of abandonment was the one who, in the end of the story, could fully experience the opposite of that. He experienced an abundance of love, care, hope, authority, and material goods. His story reminds us that, with determination and divine guidance, we can overcome the challenges that arise in our path and experience the best in Him.
Trust in Him
“I put no trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies…In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.”Psalm 44:6-8
I used to think that what Joseph did was something impossible. To forgive, to overcome, to look towards the future…
However, when we know God and understand the need to place everything in His hands, we also comprehend Joseph’s actions.
When we assess our feelings in a given situation, it’s normal to struggle to find solutions and ways out because we are deeply involved in the situation.
Therefore, it’s essential to surrender everything to God. None of it was easy for Joseph, but it was possible and bearable because he didn’t have to try with his own strength; instead, he relied on the strength of the Lord. He understood His sovereignty over everything and surrendered himself. If it depended solely on his feelings, he wouldn’t get anywhere, but with God as his guide and focus of hope, he achieved what only the grace of the Lord can bestow.
By focusing on God and entrusting control of everything into His hands, you can leave behind whatever has happened, whether good or bad. The Spirit of God provides us with this maturity, for in Him we are complete, and not only do we lack nothing more, but we also don’t carry the guilt that drives us to try to erase and fix something.
Leave it behind
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.“Romans 15:4
Even though the end of the year is just the change from one year number to another, just a change from one day to the next, we have a culture of celebrating this transition from an old to a new year and we can use it to remind ourselves about the importance of leaving the past behind, of not clinging to what is already gone.
Remember fondly all the good things you experienced and learn from the experiences that hurt you in some way, but don’t dwell on the past.
God has many plans for you tomorrow, next month and next year. His dreams are bigger than yours, surpassing even those that seem unattainable to you.
José perdoou seus irmãos, se apegou às promessas de Deus, seguiu Seu chamado e permaneceu firme. Ele não ficou preso ao sofrimento do passado, mas manteve seu olhar fixo no que o futuro reservava, mesmo sem saber exatamente o que viria, mas cheio de esperança.
Be filled with hope, not with old and heavy baggage.