Oswego Christian Church
How do you forgive when it really hurts

NOTICE: We had some issues recording this sermon, so I re-preached it and recorded that audio to add in with the original.

I’m sure you’ve never gotten in a fight with your family over the holidays, right?  If we are honest, most of us are still carrying a lot of anger over issues our family has caused us.  How do you move forward from that kind of hurt and pain?  Join me this week as we look at a story from the scripture that gives us some insight into how to actually get to a healthy place when it comes to our family around the holidays. Need prayer? visit my.oswegochristian.com/pray to post a request. Subscribe to our podcast on your phone to automatically have new messages downloaded weekly: in iTunes (https://my.oswegochristian.com/iTunes) or Android (https://my.oswegochristian.com/Google)

————-Sermon Notes————-


made it through Thanksgiving I see.

thankful to be done?  Ha!

like me, love seeing family, but point where you love to see them go!


series called, “When it hits the fan”

during the Holiday season, a lot of problems and pain under surface -hit the fan at this time of year

look at things like forgiveness, depression, loneliness & more… 

This week, we are talking about 

How do you forgive when it really hurts


In my experience few families get away without serious hurt.  woman who had been so vile to children and grandchildren, only 1 showed up to make arrangements and that relative did it out of guilt.  “she was just mean and played everyone in the family against each other…”

have issues in your family?

-the favorite?

-never told you were loved

-ignored abuse because it would be too difficult to face the facts

-isolation and abandonment

-taken advantage of over and over again

What I know is that

There is no more difficult people to forgive than the people we are supposed to be close to – our family.

because we are supposed to be close

supposed to protect

supposed to support

supposed to love

when violated, we long to hold someone responsible…

You’re not alone


real people.  couldn’t make this stuff up.

get to the end of this story in moment, but first…

Genesis 37:2

This is the account of Jacob’s family line.

Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.


if my brother and I were fighting I crying he get in HUGE trouble…

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – Jacob.  all Jews & Jesus come out of 

But his family was like yours or mine.  

-son was a tattle tale…  He brought a bad report about them

imagine – little brother – ratting you out?

kept reading, Josephs dad loved him more than other 11 sons.  

-gave him a special robe.  

Joseph too young to see it…

-dream brothers cutting grain, his grain stood, brothers grain bowed

Ha, oh man.  If my brother, “I’ll show you whose bowing down…”

Joseph just didn’t get it…

a few paragraphs – 3 times his brothers hated him…

get it, right?  

story takes dark turn…

Jacob sends Joseph out to look for brothers – supposed to bring a report – last time brought back a bad report…

-can’t find them where they are supposed to be…

finally catches up to them, they’ve been watching him for a long time

-hatched a dirty evil plan…

-take Joseph throw him into the bottom of a well…

plan is to kill him and tell their father an animal got him

see some Ishmaelites with camels – spice merchants on way to Egypt -the brothers sold him as a slave to traders…

there on out, Josephs story like a hollywood movie

-sold as slave egyptian soldiers house.

-masters wife tries to seduce him and lies about it

-gets put in prison

-interprets dreams

through strange circumstances ends as official in Pharoahs court…

what’s crazy – famine in Egypt – whole land

-Joseph put in charge of grain to people 

guess who shows up at his doorstep – his brothers… 

Great scene where Joseph messes with them a little bit

-recognizes them, but they don’t recognize him…

whole family reunion slowly unfolds for chapters – Joseph reveals himself to them and he gets to see his father again before he dies…

Then this…

Genesis 50:15-21

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

wondered if Joseph wept because he knew were trying to pull one over – using his fathers death, or if he believed them and was weeping because of the pain of what his father was asking him…

18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

Josephs response has been the kindling for many sermons:

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

this holiday season bound to face moments with family to test resolve

-reminded of lack of forgiveness you carry in your hearts…

The question is, 

How was Jospeh able to forgive and not live in the perception of reality they lived in?

Because their perception of reality was tit for tat

-it was getting yours while you could

Joseph perception changed 

Joseph had learned that God doesn’t just redeem our souls but he redeems our stories as well

Joseph saw his story in the context of a greater story

What about you?  How do you see your story?

As long as you continue to carry the burden of unforgiveness you will continue to give control to those who hurt you.


Let God hold them accountable and you hold onto Him

that’s all forgiveness is anyway

Giving up your right to revenge to God – allowing Him to deal with it


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