Help For A Strained Relationship

OPENING PRAYER:

Lord, help me recognize when I need to reach out to you to help me heal a bad relationship. Amen

READ:

“Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph! Is my father still living?’ But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence. Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Come close to me.’ When they had done so, he said, ‘I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.’”

“So, they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. They told him, ‘Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt.’ Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them. But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. And Israel said, ‘I’m convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.’” Genesis 45:3-7, 25-28 (NIV)

REFLECT:

Before Joseph went to Egypt, several things happened to create bad feelings between him and his half-brothers. The problems were set out in Genesis 37:2-4 (NLT), “This is the account of Jacob and his family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half-brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing. Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So, one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe. But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.”

This hatred grew to a point that they planned to kill him, but ended up selling him to Ishmaelite merchants who took him to Egypt and sold him as a slave. He was significantly changed by the thirteen years of trials he experienced there. He was humbled and his faith in God grew to a point that he was no longer the arrogant, ego-centric young man but a true man of God who longed to see his family. As a result, they had a family reunion unlike any other. This demonstrates that God’s plans for us go beyond physical needs and can lead us to family reconciliation.

APPLY:

Do you have relationships, family, or friendships, that need healing? God cares about guiding you to improved relationships and will do so if you ask for his help.

CLOSING PRAYER:

God, help me heal any relationship I have that is strained at this time. Amen

Worship:

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