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Skeletons in The Closet

  • So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. Here comes that dreamer! they said to each other. Come now, lets kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then well see what comes of his dreams. Genesis 37:1720 NIV

    Joseph had it all. He was his fathers favorite, God had given him dreams showing that he would be a ruler, his father had given him an ornate coat of many colors, and he was a prince. Life should have been great except that his brothers were very jealous and most of them wanted to kill him. Reuben tried to save him and got him thrown into an empty well. The only thing that stopped them was his brother Judah who told them, after all he is our brother, our own flesh, so they all compromised on selling him as a slave.

    Joseph was just a boy and he had no control over this. He was just doing what his father had told him. It was not his fault that bad things were done to him by others, even his loved ones. He was not at fault, and his father still loved him dearly. Going from a prince to a dark pit, to being a slave, to being falsely accused of attempted rape and then serving time in prison, Josephs life went into a downward spiral. It was a very dark time for him but it did not end there. Eventually, Joseph became the ruler of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself and his dreams came true.

    When people are abused as a child they often blame themselves. Things that happened to you when you were young were not your fault. You had no control over that! Lay it down. Like Joseph, forgive, and in doing so you will free yourself as well. Do not let things that happened years ago, that you had no control over, drain your energy today. Your Father loves you and wants you to focus on your future, not your unchangeable past.

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40 comments
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Penelope Rhome
Penelope Rhome Thank you Lord you are a mercyful god a god who gives to all Hallelujah
April 4, 2015
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Kathy Banfield
Kathy Banfield Boy, can I sympathize with Joseph--so much so that several of my old passwords contained his name--LOL. I still see a therapist because I have a hard time forgiving myself, my parents--you name it! Sadly, it seems the only way for peace is to restrict all contact with my birth family; they are just too evil.Please pray for me and my kids. Thanks.
April 4, 2015
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Denise Holmes
Denise Holmes Amen! We can not hold on to the past. Let's move forward
April 4, 2015
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Loriann Riley
Loriann Riley Amen I can relate to this inspiration very much I was verbal and physically abuse as a child growing up.  But is by God grace and mercy am still here.  My past don't define my future. With God and my circumstances made me in the woman I am today.  I never take things for granted. 
April 4, 2015
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Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson This is a powerful message.  I wish I had read this message many, many, many years ago.  It would have helped me through the struggles I have gone through.  However, even though time has passed, God was always with me, though at times, I had my doubts.  Now, my faith has been renewed and strengthened and I am truly blessed that he sustains me and gives me the love and support that gets me through each and every day. Thank you GOD for loving me and always being there with me and for your son Jesus who is the lifeline to you!  To the Glory of God the Father!!!  AMEN, AMEN!   Happy Easter Pastor Todd
April 4, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd I'm so sorry you had to grow up in such an environment, Loriann...praying for continued healing and strength!
April 4, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd If that is the way of peace, Kathy, then you should probably continue. You can pray for them from afar :)! I pray for continued peace for you and your kids, and freedom from the pain of the past, in the name of Jesus!
April 4, 2015
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Sheri Stewart
Sheri Stewart you are not poison, you are not a mistake, you were there target-give it all to God
April 4, 2015
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Yvette Cantrell
Yvette Cantrell Amen!!! Every experience has a lesson and can be used as a stepping tool to that next segment of our journey. I THANK YOU GOD, for Your never ending intervention. Hello everyone... have a fantabulous day.
April 4, 2015
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Pam Ivins
Pam Ivins GOOD MORNING EVERYONE, THIS MESSAGE WAS RIGHT ON TIME FOR ME. I KEEP GET REMINDED ABOUT MY PAST AND MOST OF IT I HAD NO CONTROL WHAT HAPPENED TO ME BUT THE ADULTS DID NOTHING TO PROTECT ME EITHER, IF IT WASN'T FOR GOD OR MY OLDEST BROTHER I WOULD NOT BE HERE TODAY, THANK YOU JESUS!!
April 4, 2015
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Anna Eriksdotter
Anna Eriksdotter Forgivness in times of abuse for a child is easyer said than done..... 
April 4, 2015
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Jessie Spriggs
Jessie Spriggs Thank you Lord, I was sexually abuse as a child. My experiences lead me to be a better parent and build a stronger relationship with GOD. It was GOD'S  grace and mercy brought me through my struggle. Let go, let GOD
April 4, 2015
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Sylvia Froese
Sylvia Froese Thank you for talking about this pastor. Hard to let go of the past and I will keep trying to and focus on my future like you said. Some days are easier than others. I still remember the words you said a few days ago that our past only exists in our minds and God wants the best for us. Amen.
April 4, 2015
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Roseanne Braverman
Roseanne Braverman So many of us have been abused as children. Even with prayer, therapy and support of loved  ones; it can be hard to let go of the past.  And Even harder to overvome the effects of the abuse. I pray for everyone here that they can let go and move on , becoming all they were meant to be.   Amen.
April 4, 2015
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Shari Nelson
Shari Nelson I am saved 27 years today from a hell filled 13 year drug addiction.  After my deliverance and salvation, I was not happy deep inside. And several years ago THE LORD started to reveal things I had hidden deep inside my mind. I was sexually abused from age 2 or 3 until I was around 8 or 9. I lived in such bitterness and anger.  And JESUS/YESHUA in all of HIS GLORY taught me how to forgive. He brought me freedom again on that night that HE spoke "Shari, you don't forgive them for them, you forgive them for you" and it broke!  I cried for what seemed hours! But I forgave those 3 family members! Forgiveness is only possible when THE LORD shows you how! HE is AMAZING!!
April 4, 2015
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Shari Nelson
Shari Nelson Exactly sister! We have to Let Go, and Let God!! That's only way to forgive! God bless you my sister!
April 4, 2015
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Edwin McGee
Edwin McGee Thank you. Too many of God's children have been abused as children. And while forgiveness is VERY HARD and a process to go through it is a struggle we must take. Otherwise NOT forgiving is like us drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. Please find a therapist and a pastor to help you work through this. When Jesus makes you free you will be free indeed!
April 4, 2015
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Tonya Jones
Tonya Jones Amen
April 4, 2015
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Nell Neathery
Nell Neathery I will be reminded of skeletons in the closet as I prepare to move into my new home at the beginning of May.  I will be focusing on my Father's love for me and on my future because I can't change the past.  :-)
April 4, 2015
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Mary Anne Kochut
Mary Anne Kochut The Lord empowers us to get through the pain of the past and provides healing as a testimony to inspire others.
April 4, 2015
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Lucille Jordan
Lucille Jordan Thank you for this lesson, we should always look ahead but if we ever look back we should remember the many times that we in dangerous and even life-threatening situations and realize that it was Our Father watching out for us that brought us through. He said  " I will never leave you or forsake you"
April 4, 2015
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Reinhard Blefgen
Reinhard Blefgen Amen
April 4, 2015
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Deng Tembreza
Deng Tembreza Prayers will get us through for GOD'S graces love and blessings are sufficient for our journey in life forward on
April 4, 2015
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Twila Stierwalt
Twila Stierwalt This is so good, Things that you have no control over God brings some thing so beautiful out of it. His blessings are more than we can comprehend. God wants us to live our life right now in His joy, peace and security. Our future is so amazing and awesome. Every day I am so excited to see what He has for me. I am learning to live one day at a time, not to take on tomorrow, because today has enough troubles of its own. God is the only one that can give me the ability to not let my circumstances have control of me, but to live in peace no matter what my circumstances are. To trust that God knows what He is doing. He is in charge of my life. I don't think God is nearly as conserned about my circumstances as He is at how I am responding to my circumstances. How Joseph responded to his circumstances was such a great lesson to me. God blessed him so much in his life. I love how his story ends. And how this efficted his family and others.
April 4, 2015
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Nancy Cavataio
Nancy Cavataio Wow Pastor Todd, for the second  time in a row, your message hit home! Not physical, but emotional. And yesterday I had another  painful incident with a family member who I believe has emotional issues. So hurtful and painful to me. I pray and ask God to reveal to me if I am doing/saying something wrong to cause this, because they always say 'it takes two'. And this person is saved. This has been going on my whole life, and I am near retirement age. It's only this one family member. This has everything to do with my comment yesterday.
April 4, 2015
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Sheri Buckner
Sheri Buckner To be honest, I really don't think the story of Joseph fits what you're trying to convey! Joseph was not abused as a child, he was his father's favorite. When I think of abused children, I think of those who are neglected by their parents; those who are beaten, ridiculed, and compared to the child that is the parent's favorite. Joseph's lot in life was not at the hands of his parents ... it was sibling rivalry which to me, is far different from being an abused child. Maybe Joseph always got the best of things and his brothers' got the left overs. Maybe Joseph gloated that he was the favorite, and his brother's got tired of it. It is hard to believe that the brothers plotted this over one coat; no, I believe it was years of pent up frustration. The Bible doesn't say this, but none-the-less, we know Joseph was the favorite ... not an unwanted, abused child ... and he still came out on top!
April 4, 2015
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Melissa-Peter Busse
Melissa-Peter Busse This was a heavy one for my husband and I to read. Thanks for the reminder to leave the past in your past and focus on what God is doing now and hope for the future! Amen
April 4, 2015
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Theresa Smith
Theresa Smith I to had to learn to let go and let God. Thanks for the reminder
April 4, 2015
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J D  Williams
J D Williams I TO WAS ABUSED BY A FAMILY MEMBER WHEN I WAS YOUNGER BUT THE LORD HAS HEALED THAT WOUND AND I'VE FORGIVEN THAT PERSON AND MOVED ON IN THE NAME OF JESUS GOD IS GOOD.......
April 4, 2015
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Rod Fortner
Rod Fortner The story of Joseph also shows us that he was a person of integrity. Everyone noticed this even the jailer because even there he was put in charge of all those in prison. (Gen 39:22). In verse 23 it says, "The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph's charge, because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed." Others noticed this about Joseph also and because of his Godly character the whole nation of Egypt was saved from seven years of famine. God tell us in Matt 5:16, "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." God gives us the works, He gets the glory, and others are saved! He still works through us this same way today. Praise God. 
April 4, 2015
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Lissy Verghese
Lissy Verghese Thank you for the message!
April 4, 2015
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Ticardo Williams
Ticardo Williams Amen.  Praise God!  Thank you!
April 5, 2015
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Ticardo Williams
Ticardo Williams The point is that Joseph suffered a betrayal at the hands of his family members that no child should be subjected to.  I myself was involved in some of the older children's sexual experiments with each other when I was only 7 years old.  This is abuse, even though the adults in my family were unaware and provided for all of my needs.  I was still damaged by theses events and needed deliverance.  It is important to be able to find ourselves in the word of God, and rightly divide it to properly apply it to our lives.  It is more effective when we identify rather than comparing.  There is no justification for what Joseph's brothers did to him.  Likewise, there is no justification when any child suffers abuse from whomever, but there is healing and deliverance in Christ Jesus!
April 5, 2015
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Dion Todd
Dion Todd As the youngest of 13 children and a stepchild at that, I can tell you that you can suffer abuse as a child from siblings. You can call it anything that you like... :)
April 5, 2015
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Ruth Martin
Ruth Martin I love the story of Joseph. I only wish I was as strong as he and able to hold on to the faith that the Lord loves me and will take care of all. Some days my depression is so ugly, that I try to hide from everyone. But even when I do, I know that the Lord still sees me. STill loves me. Still wants me. Thank You, Father God, for loving me when I feel so very unlovable and ugly.
April 6, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd I'm sure Joseph had his moments when sitting in prison all that time :). Ruth, have you checked out the FAAD group (Fight Against Anxiety & Depression) on this site? Here is the link: http://www.refreshinghope.org/group/5. In the name of Jesus, I pray that the Lord delivers you from the shackles of depression and helps you to walk in freedom!
April 6, 2015
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Beatrice "Raye" Huth
Beatrice "Raye" Huth Thank you this touched me and reminded me to always pray to the Father!
April 6, 2015
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Wendy Suchon
Wendy Suchon This is so very true!!!!
April 7, 2015
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Sheri Buckner
Sheri Buckner In this case, what Joseph suffered was retaliation for being the "favorite." I guess I'm just looking at it a little bit deeper. I know where you're trying to go, but I just don't think it aligns with the intended message. I hope my reply is as valued as others. This is supposed to be for everyone, whether they agree with your message or not, right?
April 20, 2015
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Reinhard Blefgen
Reinhard Blefgen Amen
April 20, 2015