James Bain spent 35 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
When DNA evidence proved him innocent, he said it “was the right time for God to release me from this. I just had to be very patient... I cannot feel angry. I put all that in God's hands." (Read more)
Bain reminds me of Joseph who completely forgave his brothers and told them, “Am I in the place of God? You intended it to harm me, but God intended it for good..." (Genesis 50:20).
The stories of Joseph and James Bain give us proof that we can trust God in the midst of terrible injustice. Both of these men understood Romans 8:28 in a way that few of us ever will:
“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.”
I praise God for their examples.
To read a longer devotion about James Bain with more details, click HERE.
1. Forgiveness is easier when we see the offense as a part of God’s plan for our lives, and there's no better Biblical example than Joseph. Review the story of Joseph in this 1-Minute devotion: Imagine & Dream and think about being in Joseph's shoes. What aspects of Joseph's narrative below are especially incredible to you?
Genesis 50:15-21: 15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept. 18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. 19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
2. Forgiveness is choosing to trust God's mysterious truth instead of our human reasoning. Are there times in your life when you did something that seemed crazy but was God's perfect will? Why not share your story in the comment section.
Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
3. God always calls us beyond ourselves and our own strength to actions that require His strength. Underline the "impossible" commands in these verses. Have you ever "loved your enemy"? Leave a comment and share the situation.
Romans 12:14-21: 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
After doing this study, check out my insights HERE.
All verses NIV unless otherwise noted.
© copyright, Gail Burton Purath, 2013, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com
These 1-Minute Bible Love Notes add some additional thoughts to this study:
We Can Be Victims or Victors
Didn't Want to Do it But Did it Anyway