Image by randihausken via Flickr
Joseph was thirty when he became governor of Egypt. He was seventeen when he was sold into slavery. For thirteen years he dealt with pain and confusion, maintained his character and his commitment to God, and allowed his trials to make him triumphant. So you can't just throw in the towel, have a pity party, or sit around doing nothing. Joseph didn't simply forget what happened. Anybody who tells you, 'Just forget it' isn't living in the real world. It happened, but God can use it to enrich your life. God gave Joseph two sons: he named them Manasseh, which means 'God has made me forget,' and Ephraim, which means 'God made me fruitful in the land of my afflictions.' God gave Joseph new relationships to replace the old ones.
One reason why old relationships may be destroying you is that you haven't replaced them with new ones. You're hanging out with the wrong reminders. God helped Joseph to forget the pain of what happened. He still had the memory, but he prospered in spite of it. When you walk with God, the promise before you is always greater than the pain behind you. But here are some 'Joseph principles' you need to live by:
1) Don't try to ignore or pretend it never happened. God will give you the grace to handle it, not deny it
2) Believe that God can 'make up to you' the time, the relationships and the opportunities you've lost 'So I will restore to you the years that the...locust has eaten...' (Joel 2:25 NKJV)
3) List the people who've wronged you, forgive them and release them to God in prayer '...and forgiving one another...' (Colossians 3:13 NJKV)
4) Tell God you're ready to start over. And start today!