Summary: The term bouncing back comes from having suffered through something but not letting it stop you from continuing on. There are many great bounce back stories in the bible. Today we'll look at the example of Joseph, son of Jacob.
The term bouncing back comes from having suffered through something but not letting it stop you from continuing on. When a boxer has an undefeated streak then suffers his first loss it can be devastating. He's no longer invincible. How will he handle it? Some come back and go on to have a great career.
Teams can bounce back after a crushing defeat. Some consider the 85 Chicago Bears to be the best team ever. Were they undefeated? No. They had one loss. The 12-0 Bears went to Miami to face the Dolphins. The Bears hadn't just been winning, they were dominating their opponents with one of the best defenses in the history of football.
What happened in Miami? They lost 38 to 24. They gave up 31 points in the first half-something the Bears hadn't done in 13 years. Linebacker Mike Singletary said, "Needless to say, there was something different about that game, and there were things that happened that night that were really strange. I mean balls ricocheting off guys heads and flying into receivers hands. You couldn't buy a break, it was like a nightmare, when something is happening and you’re in the middle of it, and you’re thinking this can’t be happening, please let this be a dream."
What did they do as a result of this deflating loss? The next day, the Bears recorded their music video, The Super Bowl Shuffle! How's that for bouncing back? And, they finished the season by beating their last three opponents by a combined score of 73-33. And their playoff run? They shut out the Giants 21-0 and the Rams 24-0. And in the Super Bowl they crushed the Patriots 46-10. I'd say the Bears bounced back pretty well that year.
What about those in the bible? What are the bounce back stories in the pages of scripture? One of the best is Job's story. He lost practically everything in a short period of time: all his children and his livelihood. He himself became afflicted with sores and boils. He lost the desire to go on. In Job 3:1 he cursed the day he was born. He went on to say in vs. 11 he wished he had been stillborn.
If anyone ever hit bottom in their life it was Job. He was basically all alone; his friends were no help. His wife undoubtedly tried her best but she was distraught in her own right. But Job kept going. And in the end, he persevered and God blessed him with more than he had before. He still would grieve the loss of his kids but his life wasn't over. Job bounced back.
There are many great bounce back stories in the bible. Today we'll look at the example of Joseph, son of Jacob.
1) For Sale: one brother.
Our story starts in Gen. 37 with the 17 year old Joseph. Jacob had 12 sons but Joseph was a favorite because he was his beloved wife Rachel's firstborn. Jacob made Joseph a richly ornamented robe. His brothers hated him because they knew how their father felt. Joseph told his brothers about a dream he had that signified his brothers would bow down to him. That didn't set too well with them. After another similar dream their hatred of Joseph only increased.
One day, Jacob sent Joseph to go see how his brothers were doing tending the flocks. When they saw Joseph approaching they plotted to kill him. Reuben was the only one who stood up for Joseph. He convinced them to spare his life. So they threw Joseph into an empty cistern while they decided what to do. While Reuben was away the brothers sold Joseph to some Ishmaelites who were on their way to Egypt. Then they killed a goat, put some of the blood on Joseph's robe and told Jacob they found it like that.
So Joseph is away from his home, away from his family, living as a slave in a foreign land. That's a lot for a 17 year old to have to take in and deal with. Did you have anything tragic happen to you at a young age? What has helped you to bounce back from it? While in Egypt, Joseph was sold to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officials. How would Joseph deal with everything that happened to him? Was he adapting to his new surroundings? Was he able to bounce back?
Gen. 39:2-6a, "The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.