God made Joseph forget his hardship

Last updated on July 14, 2021

knot in handkerchief to remember or recall things

God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.
(Genesis 41:51)

Joseph had experienced extreme emotional pain: he was seriously ill-treated by his brothers and sold as a slave.
Traders took him to Egypt, hundreds of kilometers away from his beloved father,
where he had to work as a house slave for an Egyptian official.
Joseph was then wrongly sentenced to prison several years later.
But the Bible tells us that “the Lord was with Joseph” all the time, and eventually He intervened.

God gave Joseph the ability to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, which led to him being appointed as a ruler over Egypt.
He married Asenath and they had a son. Then we read a remarkable phrase: “Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh.
‘For,’ he said, ‘God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.’”

Joseph did not know whether he would ever be reunited with his family.
But he was able to enjoy God’s blessings without being burdened by his past hardships
or the longing for ‘the good old days’ of his youth.
The book of Ecclesiastes commends this attitude:
“Say not, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.” (Ecclesiastes 7:10)
Lingering in the past can overshadow your present happiness.
But focusing on God’s blessings can help you “forget” the pain you have gone through!

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