'I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you...' And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, 'Behold, we are your servants.'
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. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.' And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Then Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.' And they divided His garments and cast lots.
Abraham forgave Lot. Isaac forgave Laban. Joseph forgave his brothers. Job forgave his friends. Moses forgave Aaron. David forgave Saul. Steven forgave his murderers. Paul forgave his jailers. Jesus forgave everybody. Without doubt, every Bible hero has stories of forgiveness. Surely, they are recorded in the annals of Heaven.
Because God's major players had better things to do than to hold on to resentment. Because to hold on to anything but Him would hold them back, and holding back is not a hero's option. Only pressing forward--in freedom. Because entering into a God-appointed destiny requires freedom of movement.
Freedom of movement requires freedom of thought. Freedom of thought requires a God-focused mind. A God-focused mind requires a God-filled heart. A God-filled heart has no room for derailing deliberations of hatred or unforgiveness.
Because to believe in the Word of God is to believe in God's justice system: 'For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King' (Isaiah 33:22). 'Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?' (Genesis 18:25). 'For He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity' (Psalm 98:9).
Because to believe in God's justice system is to believe in His ability to right all wrongs: 'I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds' (Jeremiah 17:10). 'For we know Him Who said, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay' ' (Hebrews 10:30).
Because the Originator and King of Justice perfectly understands crimes and punishment, mercy and restoration. If we are His children and servants, we trust Him: 'And the heavens declare His righteousness, for God Himself is Judge' (Psalm 50:6).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Unforgiveness series.