The youth of one of the churches in Lilongwe asked me to share with them on the topic: “Staying hopeful when the world mistreats you.” What a topic!
Searching the Scriptures, I came to the story of Joseph. Like our Lord Jesus, Joseph was also mistreated in various ways. However, one thing that kept him going even in the midst of the ill-treatment was forgiveness.
This is clearly seen in Genesis 50:19. Joseph’s brothers lied to him that their father, before he died, had asked Joseph to forgive them for the mistreatment he suffered in their hands. Joseph’s response is amazing: “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” Wow!
Joseph saw the hand of God in everything that happened to him. He knew that some things are beyond our control. Therefore, Joseph chose the way of forgiveness. Like our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross who asked his Father to forgive those crucifying him, Joseph also opted for forgiveness instead of bitterness or vengeance.
I believe this is the way to go for God’s children. We can stay hopeful in times of ill-treatment when we pray that God through his grace should grant us a heart of forgiveness not vengeance or bitterness. After all, it is God alone who directs our footsteps in this world.