Freedom from Painful Memories

Freedom from Painful Memories

Real Hurts, Real Freedom-Joseph’s Story (Genesis 37-50)

Message #5;  Rev. Scott Parker

Genesis 45: 6-8; Romans 8:28; John 16:33


The memory of past event can continue to influence our lives,

long after the actual hurt took place.

Memory gets triggered and causes us to re-live a hurt (consciously/unconsciously)


We can respond to a painful memory in many ways:  anger, depression, control, anxiety

Ultimately, how we continue to respond to hurts is a reflection of HOW WE SEE GOD


C.S. Lewis, in “The Problem of Pain,” that a hurt tempts us to believe that either….

1)    God does not CARE, or 2) God is not STRONG:

Either God cares about our well being but isn’t strong enough to bring it about, or God IS strong enough to help us but just does not want to.  Where was God when I was hurt?


Pain and Suffering cause us to ask 2 key questions about God’s identity:

1)   Is God GOOD

God’s GOODNESS:  -The belief that God is for us and actively pursues our welfare


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.  Psalm 106:1 


If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11



God’s SOVEREIGNTY:  -The belief that God is all-powerful and in control, able to accomplish his purposes and fulfill his promises. (This belief is very important in the Reformed/Presbyterian faith)

Another Way to Express God’s Sovereignty

God will not allow sin, suffering and death to have the last word

Nothing can thwart God’s purpose of being good to you. 


Joseph believes that even in the midst of hurts, that GOD IS GOOD / SOVEREIGN

    “For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. [7] But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. [8] “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.”          Genesis 45:6-8

Joseph is able to see how God used the sin of his brothers for good.


“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”      Romans 8:28.

God does not cause nor want bad things to happen, but God, being sovereign, will not allow the bad to have the last word in our lives.  God is strong/good enough to raise good from the darkest situation.


What Assurance do we have of God’s Goodness and Sovereignty?


(Jesus) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.)  John 16:33 


Jesus’ CROSS proves that He is committed to & cares about our welfare

  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32


Jesus’ RESURRECTION proves that He is more powerful than death or anything else that could harm us.  Whatever happens, Jesus can overcome its negative effects. 

“…his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength…which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead …”  Ephes. 1:19-20


An important way in which the Sovereignty & Resurrection Power of God helps us heal and become free of painful memories is called…

 RE-FRAMING:  “ …taking another look at an event from a different perspective or through someone else’s eyes.” –Mike Flynn, “Inner Healing.”


REFRAMING helps us see an event that hurt us THROUGH THE LORD’S EYES.  And how Jesus sees things IS HOW THEY TRULY ARE.

Example:  The “Footprints” poem—I saw one set of footprints & thought God left me. 

                                                   –Jesus shows me that this is when He carried me.


Joseph “Re-frames” his painful experience:  “You SOLD me, but God SENT me.”

Joseph saw how God took a murder attempt and used it to save millions of people.


Re-Framing our own painful experiences and memories

*Healing is a process.  Joseph’s healing experience took place over several years.

*We need to continue the practices of forgiveness (week #2), focusing on the new thing God is doing TODAY (Week #3); and saturating ourselves in God’s Word (Week #4)

*Ask God to help you identify the painful memories/experiences that have impacted you.

*Ask for God to help you see the hurt through His eyes & Sovereign goodness to you.

*Some wounds/memories require intentional healing  through prayer.



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