‘You did not receive a spirit…to fear, but…of sonship.’ Romans 8:15 NIV
Joseph’s brothers ‘were…stunned with surprise. “Come over here,” he said. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother whom you sold into Egypt! But don’t be angry with yourselves that you did this to me, for God did it!”’ (Genesis 45:3–5 TLB) You’ll notice that Joseph didn’t react the way we so often do when someone hurts us. He didn’t: (1) distance his brothers; (2) enjoy watching them squirm; (3) practise one-upmanship; (4) gloat and say ‘gotcha!’; (5) remind them of how they’d put him down and despised his dreams; (6) demand they acknowledge that he was right and they were wrong; (7) say, ‘I told you so!’ No, Joseph knew at the heart of the matter was God’s sovereign purposes being accomplished—even through the evil deeds of his brothers. Having the right view of God’s providence freed Joseph and allowed him to seek love from his brothers, not fear—restoration in place of revenge. He knew the long-term benefits of healing a relationship far outweighed any short-term satisfaction you get from retaliation. The Bible also says, ‘You did not receive a spirit…to fear, but…the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”’ The word ‘Abba’ is a term of endearment which means ‘Daddy’. God doesn’t bring up your past, or keep you at arm’s length because of your failures. He wants you to know you can come to Him at any time, know that you’re accepted, feel secure in His presence, and call Him ‘Daddy’. And that’s the kind of love He wants you to show to others—a love that doesn’t want them to feel afraid in your presence.
SoulFood: Rom 7:1–9:16, John 9:24–41, Ps 83:9–18, Prov 29:23–27
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023