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Anger: The Success of Joseph

Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive."

Genesis 50:15

Joseph is an incredible story of betrayal and injustice. His own brothers hated him because he was favored by their father and given preferential treatment. In fact they plotted to murder him, but then decided it would be better to sell him into the bonds of slavery. While he was a slave, he was falsely accused of attempted rape and sent to prison where he spent quite a few years behind bars. Joseph had every reason to be angry with and hate his brothers.

Joseph had opportunity to get revenge. He went from the prison to the palace and became the most powerful man in all of Egypt--2nd to the Pharoah himself. When Joseph's brothers came to buy bread, he could have risen up with anger and used the power of his position to punish them. The temptation must have been very real. Not only was Joseph able to overcome his hurt feelings of betrayal and the anger that he felt, he was also able to bless them with what they needed to survive.

How did he overcome? He believed and trusted in God. This can be seen early on in Joseph's slavery. Joseph was tempted by his master's wife. Others might have taken advantage of that situation and justified it because of what he had been through; but Joseph replied, "How can I do this great evil and sin against God?" (Genesis 39:9) That is faith. It is easy for grief and sorrow to become bitterness and rage if not dealt with properly. Joseph was hurt by his brothers betrayal. The Bible actually tells us that he was in anguish and pleaded with his bothers. (Genesis 42:21) They didn't listen. Yet he did not allow his heart to become consumed with anger and vengeance.

Joseph saw the bigger picture. He saw God's hand at work in the misfortune that he faced God worked through Joseph's misfortune to save many lives. That is how we can become overcomers too. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, He will show how to love others even when it is difficult. We will understand the purposes of God and find ourselves walking in the path of forgiveness and love.

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