There is a verse in Genesis, Chapter 41, that as I read it, I immediately wondered how many bible readers were drawn to it and could identify with it. It is verse 51 and reads: Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” Manasseh mostly means “forgetfulness.” Before I continue I want to encourage you to make an effort to find the meaning of your birth name, especially if it is a biblical name or a variation of one. An excellent source is Hitchcock’s Bible Names Dictionary which I’m sure you can easily find it on the Internet. To me, that is more meaningful than researching one’s ancestry. After all, we all are descendants of Adam anyway.
If you know the story of Joseph you are aware that he suffered many indignities and hardships in his life and it all started with his own brothers. It would have been impossible for him to forget these events, although he truly forgave his brothers as well as anyone else who caused him pain and grief, but Joseph was convinced that God could help him forget his troubles, and that is exactly what happened. He never forgot those damaging life events but he did forget to dwell on them to the point that they would torment him for the rest of his life. To borrow a line from a song I used to love when I was a teenager, Joseph "remembered not to care."
Interestingly, Christmas has been ruined forever in the hearts and minds of countless people around the world because they just cannot forget a sad or hurtful occurrence they experienced during the Christmas season. Every year when this season rolls around, they relive the hurt and pain they experienced in a Christmas past. Seriously, can anything be more impactful in the lives of God’s children than the fact that Christ is always with us, that there is hope in every situation, and that our best and most glorious events are still up ahead? Did not Paul write “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” ? (Romans 8:18) If you, because of the things I just mentioned, refuse to be happy at Christmas, I plead with you to snap out of it and do what Joseph did. Trust God that He can eliminate your pain and put love, joy, peace and comfort in your heart instead. God not only wants you have comfort and joy during Christmas. He wants you to have it for the rest of your life.
God’s word for today: (Philippians 4:4) “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”