Giving a child a name is not a small responsibility. Joseph in Genesis is an excellent example of giving his sons’ specific names for a special reason.
“And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him. Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.” And the name of the second he called Ephraim “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
Genesis 41:50-52 (NKJV)
Joseph was chosen by God and given a dream. Because he shared his dream with his siblings, they threw him in a pit, abandoned him, enslaved him, betrayed him, and estranged themselves from him. Although, Joseph had every right to become bitter. Joseph chose to be grateful. In our world today, ungratefulness abounds, and kindness is often met with contention. But, Joseph refused to allow his family, friends, or the world to change him while he traveled through his trials, regardless of how unjust the situations were in the moment. Joseph was a man of character.
Note, Joseph named his first son, “Asenath.” Joseph understood that every time he spoke his son's name he was literally saying, “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.” In Donna’s translation, “I forgive my friends and family and with God, I forget all they did to hurt me.” Joseph named his second son, “Ephraim.” Ephraim means, “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.” In Donna’s translation, “God has blessed me right in the middle of my hurtful situation.” Joseph was an extremely wise man who understood the power of a name.
Gratitude and thankfulness in the middle of trial or pain will enable you to be the overcomer God has called and purposed you to be – regardless of circumstances. If you recall in Luke 17:11-18, the Leper who went back to Jesus to tell him, “Thank you” was made completely whole.
In a world full of people who believe they are entitled, be a Joseph. Determine in your heart and soul to forgive as well as forget what your family and friends have done to purposely hurt you. And, be blessed in the middle of tests, trials, or tribulations. Use gratitude as your weapon of choice when people are attacking, or it appears your world is caving in on you. You are stronger than your circumstances.
Stay sweet Joseph, no matter what you are facing. Stay sweet.
Be blessed today.