Summary: Joseph's life is a testament to God's promise that He is always there and He can bless us even in the hardest of times.

Even the Bad Times Are Good

By Joe Mack Cherry

I. Introduction

A. Country Music

1. Building a sermon around the sentiment of a country music song could get a little dicey.

2. There were a few wholesome songs for us old enough to remember them.

3. Thus, the title of today’s lesson

B. Even the Bad Times are Good.

1. Written by Clyde Pitts and Carl Belew in 1964

2. Recorded first by Jerry Wallace and later by George Jones/Tammy Wynette.

3. Song about the love of one’s life. Someone who sustains another thru all of life’s ups and downs.

4. Some of the lyrics

a. Vs. 2 – You never left me feel mistreated, your love is all I ever needed.

When I was weak, somehow you understood.

You’re not afraid of stormy weather,

And that’s what keeps our love together.

Yes, even the bad times are good.

b. Chorus – Your middle name should be perfection, cause that’s what you are to me. Even in my darkest hour you make it easier to see.

c. Everyone should have someone like that. Don’t you agree?

5. This is true and has correlation to our relationship with God.

II. Lesson

A. Gen. 39:20-23 is biblical proof

1. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. Gen. 37

2. Potiphar was an official on the King of Egypt’s court.

a. Gen. 39: 1-6 - Read

b. Joseph ran the household. This was success to a slave!

c. Potiphar’s wife took a liking to Joseph, but he refused her advances.

d. Read Text

B. Examine vs. 23

1. The Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

2. He was successful in spite of his captivity.

3. Joseph never lost sight of God even in the hardest of times and God never lost sight of him.

4. Scripture does not give us an exhaustive account of the lives of its characters.

a. Fast forward to Gen. 40-41.

b. The dreams interpreted – God gets the glory

c. Joseph reassured his brothers that they were safe after Jacob died.

i. Gen. 50:19-20. In re: being sold into slavery - “You meant it for bad and God used it for good.”

ii. Rom 8:28 – “… in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.”

5. It is the same way today.

a. We don’t know the whole picture because we are not with a person 24/7.

b. The sick, mentally troubled put on a bright face but deep down they are fighting

constant battles.

c. Nobody knows better God’s presence in the battle.

d. Nobody knows better how to appreciate God’s gifts of moments of peace.

C. What does the bible tell us about hard times?

1. We live in an imperfect world. Rom. 8:20-22 tells us that the whole creation moans because of what sin did to it. In Mat. 6:34 – the latter portion tells us that each day has enough trouble of its own.

2. Bad things do happen to good people. Remember Job? Job 14:1- “Man born of woman is of few days and born of trouble.”

a. Job never gave up on God.

b. God protected Job from death. Satan can only do what God allows him to do.

c. Look at Joseph, Reuben was going to return and save Joseph, but it didn’t happen. Gen. 37:29 ff

d. Gen. 40 – Joseph interprets the dream of the Cup Bearer and the Baker. Joseph asked them to tell the king about him so that he could be released from prison. Joseph spent two more years in prison. Gen. 41.

3. Evil was not by God’s design because He created paradise.

D. Since troubles are a fact of life and they affect us mentally, spiritually as well as physically; therefore, we need to try and change our perspective on bad times in order to get through them. Sometimes it is all we can do.

1. It’s not if hard times come; it’s when hard times come?

2. We usually find ourselves in one of three places in life.

a. Going into a storm

b. In the middle of a storm

c. Coming out of a storm

3. Back in the 80’s Richard Gere was asked about Buddhism. Paraphrased “the Buddhist accept that the world is flawed, and it is up to man to navigate the pitfalls without blaming/complaining about them.”

a. Is this possible?

b. Yes, we have Jesus as our perfect example. Think about all the trials He went through on this earth.

i. The religious leaders of the day stalked Him like a pack of wolves.

ii. Even endured death sinlessly.

4. Heb. 12:7-13 – Read

E. How do we start? Remember that God cares! God cares even at our rock bottom!

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