23. God has a bright future for you

God exalted Joseph to second in command in all of Egypt. Joseph didn't have the credentials, the education or the experience for that position, but yet God ordained it to be so. And because Joseph was willing and keen to do his best and to listen to God, everything worked out great. Joseph was successful in all that he did and his plan of collecting enough food for everybody to use during the time of famine worked out quite well. We therefore learn that when God places us in certain situations we shouldn't be worried; He will look out for us and help us through it. He will give us the wisdom to handle the situations and to excel in His plan for our lives.

Joseph did so well in offering food to the Egyptians, people from other countries heard about the food as well. It spread as far as Canaan to Joseph's family. His father, Jacob heard about the grain in Egypt:

"And he said, "Indeed I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down to that place and buy for us there, that we might live and not die." Genesis 42:2

So Joseph's ten brothers set off to Egypt to collect grain. Little did they know that they would encounter their brother Joseph. He immediately recognized them even though they didn't recognize him. He spoke to them and learned that he had a brother that he didn't even know of, Benjamin. He wanted to meet him and in the same breath test his brothers to see if they have changed. He took one of them, Simeon and placed him in jail. The rest he sent back to go and fetch Benjamin, as well as to take food back to their families. Just before they went, they said the following:

"We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us." And Reuben answered them, saying, "Did I not speak to you, saying, "Do not sin against the boy": and you would not listen? Therefore behold, his blood is now required of us." Genesis 42:21, 22

They felt terribly guilty for what they had done to Joseph. They sold him when he was seventeen years old and he was probably now between 38 and 40 years old. So for more than twenty years they carried this guilt around with them. Nothing in this situation suggested that this happened to them because of what they did to Joseph and yet that is the first conclusion that they jumped to. What they did to Joseph must have tormented them for years and years. It was terrible what they did and yet God used it for good. God used it to save His people from famine through Joseph.

They were truly sorry for what they had done, they were remorseful. And at the end God used them to become the twelve tribes of Israel, His beloved nation.

We might also have done terrible things in the past. We might also be remorseful about things we have said and done to other people. Do not carry this guilt around with you for one single day more. Lay it down at the feet of Jesus. Ask Him for forgiveness, He gives freely to all. Then go and make amends with the person that you have harmed. If it is not possible to do that, do that in the Spirit and be set free. Then move on with your life and be free from all guilt and condemnation. Jesus came to set us free. He wants to use us in mighty ways, we must just be pliable and willing to repent and move where He wants us to move. Our future is bright, no matter what we have done in the past. God can work with that and bring beauty from ashes.

Father, we are so sorry for things that we have done in the past. We were spiritually immature and didn't realize what we were doing. We are so sorry about it. Thank you for forgiving us, we praise You and look forward to our future with You. Amen

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