Pastor Jeff Knott of Grace Church in Port Hope, Ontario continues the series “The Joseph Stories” with “Hurt”:

What do we do with hurt? How did Joseph deal with hurt?

Dysfunction might be our reality, but it does not need to be our destiny; it might describe us, but it does not need to define us; it might be part of our story, but it’s not the whole story.

Joseph found the capacity to forgive.

Forgiveness is the only way to deal with the hurt.

Lewis Smedes, “Forgiving is love’s toughest work and love’s greatest risk.”

Because the Lord has dealt with the hurt that we caused Him through our sin and rebellion against Him, so we now have been given the capacity to deal with the hurt that is done to us.

Forgiveness is the only power that can help us with this.

It’s God’s way of setting things right; it’s His way of setting us free; it’s His way of bringing us in that place of healing and blessing.

Forgiveness happens in stages. The first stage is recognizing the hurt in our lives.

Lewis Smedes says that for an offense that needs to be forgiven it needs to be personal, it needs to be unfair, and it needs to be deep. Deep can be disloyalty, betrayal or brutality.

For Joseph to find hope and to find healing, he’s forced to do love’s toughest work which is to forgive.

Our spiritual freedom, our promotion in life, our authority and our anointing depend on this ability to forgive.

It’s a long process. To forgive too soon is to cheapen the whole thing and may cause us to come back to it again and again. We need to do the hard work of forgiveness, if we’re going to move out from underneath these difficult things.

Joseph acknowledged the hurt done to him and this was the first step in moving toward healing.

If we’re going to get to this place of forgiveness, we need to name the hurt.

Forgiveness is the only way forward. It’s the first step to healing and the first step to healing is to bring it to God and invite Him into that pain.

God, through Christ, knows what it is to hurt. He is the perfect companion for this journey of healing because He’s been there himself and rose above it and purchased forgiveness for us so that we would have the same capacity to be free from it.

Invite Him into the pain. Name that pain and trust in His goodness.

Don’t we see the heart of God expressed in the cross and the resurrection? And that is what we must trust in the midst of our own pain, wrestling with the hurt, the betrayal, the abuse, the neglect. We must trust God that He’s going to take us to the other side.

Martin Luther King Jr. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

Let the love of God flood your heart as you name that hurt and begin the process of dealing with the pain and bring you to a place of healing.