The enigmatic principle of John Chrysostom (4th century AD) on how to survive life’s troubles,
NOTHING HURTS THOSE WHO DON’T HURT THEMSELVES,
is illustrated by the life of Joseph (Genesis 37 – 59).
Hated by his brothers, sold into slavery, viciously slandered, Joseph languished for years in a dungeon. Such trauma would destroy many.
Yet Joseph believed that God was with him, even in his troubles. Likely his emotions were up and down many times, but God’s grace enabled him to avoid destructive bitterness. Joseph emerged from his experiences with emotional and spiritual health, and was able to tell this brothers:
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.” (Genesis 50: 20-21 NIV)
Coffee/tea thought: Although Joseph suffered much, he drew on God’s grace and came through his trials without bitterness. May God give us grace and power to respond with Joseph, without bitterness, and be saved from lasting hurt.
January 20th, 2020
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