Now before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him. Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, "For," he said,"God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household." He named the second Ephraim, "For," he said,"God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction."
This is the first time in the life of Joseph where we get a hint of what he was feeling during all of his ordeals. He does not tell us directly, but does so in a more profound way. Many people of that day named their sons in a way that exhibited a part of the character of God or declared how they thought God was dealing with them. Joseph declares in the names of his sons that God has healed him from his pain and that God has blessed him in the midst of affliction. He is declaring that God is good.
How did God actually cause Joseph to forget his pain? I believe that it was by blessing him – this showed that God had not abandoned him even if his brothers had – and then by showing him God’s purpose in it all. (Rom 8:28; Gen 50:20). We ultimately forget what is unpleasant by remembering what is good, and in this case, Who is good.
This is in stark contrast to how his father, Jacob, viewed his own trials which did not even come close in severity to those of Joseph. God also blessed Jacob everywhere he went, but Jacob was in constant inner struggle. What is the difference between father and son? The condition of the heart.
Their father Jacob said to them, "You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and you would take Benjamin; all these things are against me." Gen 42:36
For those of us who are not as spiritual as Joseph – this is my group - most of forgetting pain is tied up in forgetting the lies and torment of the enemy that was associated with the problem. This is also remedied by realizing God’s goodness. Not convinced, too simple? Just turn it around then. When all the dust is settled and you are healed of your pain – regardless of how long it takes – what would have been the solution? You would have had some encounter with God, and His truth would have flooded your soul saying that He is good and He cares for you.
There is no Plan B or magic pill for life, only God.