One of the biggest shows on television the last few years has been "American Idol." "Idolmania" has been big all over. After all, I don’t even have to explain it when is say the name, Sanjaya. Just Google his name and see what I mean.
In the past when a contestant was voted off they would play the song, " Bad Day." We would hear the song as the contestant watched snippets of their days on Idol, "Cause you had a bad day. You’re taking one down. You sing a sad song just to turn it around." And so it goes.
I always thought the tune was rather catchy, and the lyrics are great, because we all can relate. Have you ever had a bad day? Of course you have. You’ve had more than one bad day, and sometimes in a row. So what did you do about it?
Do you remember the Old Testament character Joseph? He had some bad days. Things didn’t start out badly. He was his father’s favorite son, treated much better than his brothers. But as you might expect, that caused trouble down the road. What happened to Joseph?His brothers threatened to kill him, but eventually sold him as a slave. His boss’s wife falsely accused him of immoral behavior and he was thrown into jail. While there a man whom he helped forgot all about him, and he continued to spend more time in jail.
But Joseph’s attitude and trust in God just kept getting stronger. The story is a long one, and could take quite a while to relate, but I want to summarize what happened at one point. He finally got out of prison and was elevated to a high position of authority again. He was reunited with his father and brothers. But then his father died.
Joseph’s brothers remembered their own behavior, and their guilt feelings caused them to fear him. They were afraid that he would hurt them in vengeance, especially now that their father was gone. But in one of the most faithful statements in the entire Bible Joseph looked at them and said, "You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good."
In other words, Joseph said, "’I forgive,’ because I know that God is good, and that He has been protecting me. I will not hurt you because I know that God would not want me to do so."
I don’t know about you, but I know it would be hard to be that forgiving. We naturally want forgiveness from others, but vengeance on them. God reminds us to forgive, even when we have been hurt.
Is there someone to whom you need to extend the hand of forgiveness? What’s holding you back? Did you have a bad day? That’s okay. Forgive anyway. That is God’s plan for you and me.
Butler wrote this on behalf of the North Bryan Ministerial Association.