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Handling Trials Like Joseph

January 20, 2017

Sermon of the Day: Receive With Meekness the Implanted Word

Genesis 50:19-20 NIV

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.

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Good Morning everyone. I hope and pray this message finds you in a state of hunger and thirst for more of God. I pray that knowing God intimately would become a greater desire for each and every one of you.

I have just finished the book of Genesis in my bible reading plan. The book of Genesis ends with the amazing life of Joseph. Several thoughts were running through my head and heart with this man’s story.

For those of you that are not familiar with the story of Joseph, I would highly encourage you to read through Genesis 37, 39-50 if you would like to get the full picture of this amazing man, used by God.

How many of us truly trust God in all things? How about trials, when trials come your way, how do you view them?

Lets look at a few examples of how Joseph dealt with trials that I am pretty sure none of us will ever have to face.

Genesis 37:27-28 NIV

27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.

28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.

Joseph had 10 older brothers. Joseph was daddy’s favorite. Definitely some parenting lessons here in this section, but that’s for another day. Joseph’s older brothers did not like their daddy’s favorite boy and thought about killing him, instead they did what all loving brothers do. They sold him into slavery.

Okay, I’m not sure of all the pain and struggle that this each of you has gone through. But to take a young man by force that was about 17 years old and sell him off into slavery. Ouch, this had to hurt deep in his soul.

Although it may not have looked like it, God was working behind the scenes. Jacob found favor with every master he had, and in everything he laid his hands to, he succeeded.

How would you have felt, and handled this situation?

Then trial struck again.

Genesis 39:14-15,20 NIV

14 she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. 15 When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”

20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.

Joseph had become the most useful and trusted man in a wealthy and powerful Egyptian home. Joseph did so well that he caught the eye of the his masters wife. The Bible doesn’t go into much detail, but you definitely get the picture that this woman was in hot pursuit.

Yet, completely innocent Joseph was sent to prison.

How would you have felt, and handled this situation?

Genesis 40:23-41:1 NIV

23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.

When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile…

Prison life sounds like it was about as good as it could get for Joseph. God had his hand over Joseph. Joseph found favor with the guards and with all men. However prison is still prison.

The man Joseph helped forgot about him for two whole years.

How would you have felt, and handled this situation?

Yet through all this Joseph remained faithful to God. It is completely clear that Joseph never allowed hurt, anger and bitterness to overcome him. Joseph clearly forgave everyone that wronged him.

Genesis 41:40 NIV

40 “You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”

Joseph went from being a 2-3 year prisoner in jail, to second in command over the entire nation of Egypt. That is Romans 8:28 in full high-definition color brothers!

What do you feel is most amazing about what Joseph became? Was it status? Wealth? Comfort? Or Significance?

If you read through these chapters, you will see that Joseph was used by God to save the nation of Egypt, his family and I’m sure many others. We are potentially talking about hundred of thousands of people if not more. God used Joseph to build a legacy for his family and his children. This legacy is so great we are still talking about this man thousands of years later.

Men, are you going through hard times?

Are you willing to allow God to do His work in you?

Could you be sold by your family into slavery, accused of a major offense and innocently be thrown in prison for years and avoid bitterness and anger? Could we trust God through that?

No one is safe from trials. We can either blame God and blame others. Or we can trust God and get planted in His Word and trust in His promises.

Let me ask you one final question. Would you be willing to go through that for the eternal lives and souls of others?

Luke 9:23

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

 

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