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Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them.

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.  Genesis 42:6-7, 45:1-2 TNIV


I’ve been following the story of Joseph recently (Genesis 37-50) and just struck me how wildly his emotions fluctuated. He was so shocked and angry when his brothers first arrived in Egypt seeking food. He spoke harshly too them, held Simeon hostage but then loaded their bags with grain… not exactly a model of godly compassion and self-control.

Joseph really battled with strong emotions but over time he let God soften his heart and bring him to a place of forgiveness, and restoration with his family.

The story gives me such comfort because emotions can run very high in times of family crisis and we don’t always do the right thing straight away. I’m also encouraged because I know God is working alongside and through us for his greater purposes.

Have you, or are you, battling with strong emotions? How has, or can, God help you?

Prayer (as a couple)

Father God, thank you that you work alongside and through us in times of overwhelming emotions. Thank you that you can bring us – and others – to a place of forgiveness, restoration and knowledge of your greater purposes. Help us through the power of your Holy Spirit to manage our feelings in a way that glorifies you, now and in the future. Amen.

Prayer (for others)

Father God, we pray for _____ and _____ who are experiencing a family crisis and emotions are running very high. Help them through the power of your Holy Spirit to manage their feelings and behave in a godly way. Please give them your love and healing and help them to a place of forgiveness and restoration. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Final quote

…God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done… (Genesis 50:20)