Key Word:- FORGIVE
Title:- The 3rd Hardest Thing
Genesis 50:15-17 When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, 'Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.”' Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
Let me conclude this little trilogy on forgiveness with the weeping test. It is a common misconception from those outside Christ to look into the confessional and grieving aspects of the repentant sinner and conclude that Christianity is a miserable path to walk. Indeed, the fact that many of us in the church are strangely and wonderfully happy to remain in the ‘wormology’ that the Biblical presentation of original sin seems to present, simply re-enforces that observation. To the astonished outside I say, “Behold the journeying Christian. What a cup of groaning Joy!” To the dour dark and dismal wormologist brethren continually groaning under the burdens of their failings and freakishly enjoying it, I say, “For goodness sake. STOP IT! You’re getting Jesus a bad name. Be that cup of groaning joy you should be!”
The problem here is both simple and profound. It is simply that we have yet to acquiesce and splash around like little children, like kittens fire-cracking in fighting, rolling and biting, kicking and meowing on the soft carpeted floors of the outrageous all forgiving nature of God. It seems that our cultural Christianity has deemd that we should be more humbly thankful and respectfully quiet regarding our forgiveness, than astonishingly vocal and as happy as a hippy on speed and friends, don’t wheel out the old ‘Aunt Sally’s’ of the fixed-in-stone nature of both temperament and culture. We are supposed to be joyful and there is nothing more outrageously joyful than found and felt forgiveness! The problem is, we have failed to possess such forgiveness and the evidence of this is three fold:-
Firstly, our miserable hands in the pockets, 'good grief not this old chorus again', lackadaisical and pathetic excuses for worship celebration services.
Secondly, a distasteful slowness in the forgiveness of others and
Thirdly, a reluctance to forgive ourselves.
This last one is important and no doubt is the cause of the first two problems.
You see, the third hardest thing to do friends is to receive forgiveness. The brothers had already been thoroughly forgiven by Joseph and their concocted story regarding the care of their departed Father was simply an echo of their inability to forgive themselves. They still condemned themselves and feared his retribution. At this, Joseph wept.
Today friends let me ask you this; does Jesus weep for wriggling worms that should be splashing children? What will He do with you eh? You old misery guts! What will He do with you who are still waiting for the non-existant hammer to fall?
Listen:- “……Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” Genesis 50:17
Pray:- Let me hear Your gentle words today say to me “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Amen. Luke 12:32-33