Joseph was able to forgive his brothers because he saw that God was up to something; he had captured the Upper Story, God's bigger plan. What the brothers did was wrong, but God used their sin and jealousy to accomplish God's overall purpose, God's Upper Story.
The famine would have killed the little fledgling nation of Israel naturally, but supernaturally God made a provision for their salvation by putting Joseph in the right place at the right time.
Why didn't God just thwart the famine? It wasn't time yet for the nation of Israel to take ownership of the land of Canaan. And, they needed to be prevented from intermarrying with Canaanites, so their move to Egypt got them away from the Canaanites and living amongest the Egyptians who thought it was an abomination to marry shepherds. In Egypt they were given the incredibly fertile land of Goshen where they thrived.
Joseph had 22 years of a difficult life, but 71 years of a blessed life. He saw the Upper Story and it made his life in the Lower Story richer. It made all the junk that happened to him in the Lower Story survivable.
Application for this week:
The trials we go through test us and cause us to trust God and see God's power in desperate situations, and equip us for the very thing God wants us to do that we're not yet equipped to do, so that others will not see us, but God.
Huge consequences come to us when we do things in the Lower Story to hurt other people, even though God often uses our sinfulness to accomplish God's overall will.
For those whose life isn't turning out like you had envisioned it, you need the perspective of Romans 8:28:
"That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."
Try thinking on this scripture this week... Do you trust God with all the details of your life? Do you look at how you can align yourself with God's will and prompts in your life - what small changes can you make to follow a little closer to God on a daily basis?
For me, just starting to read or study God's word everyday has helped immensely! What is helping you?
Nebraska and After
3 days ago