Summary: This message explores Joseph’s example of faith that endures disappointments.
Have you ever wondered what determines if a person will or will not be a success? What are those vital ingredients necessary for success? For decades many considered the intelligence quotient or IQ test to be an important measure of potential. However, through the years we have seen many people with near genius IQ’s become colossal failures. More recently some have tried to measure people’s EQ or emotional quotient to determine an individual’s chances for success. They tried to measure a person’s ability to empathize with people, delay gratification, control impulses, persist and interact with others. However, once again the data proved to be an inaccurate indicator of potential. Paul Stoltz came up with the AQ or adversity quotient as being an excellent indicator of potential. Through his research he discovered that almost all successful people in every field have one thing in common, they get back up when they fall down. They refuse to give up. They are amazingly resilient; they have a high adversity quotient. There is one person who stands out in the Bible as having an extremely high AQ and that is Joseph. He was a man that kept moving forward despite being constantly disappointed by those around him. His ability to trust in God despite overwhelming adversity is a reminder of what God can do with someone who has a high AQ and a lot of faith. Are you ready for some good news? Although you cannot do too much to increase your IQ, you can measure and dramatically improve your AQ. You can enhance your ability to take on challenges. As we will learn from the life of Joseph faith plays an important role in determining your AQ. So let’s explore how to have a faith that endures despite the disappointment.
I. Joseph’s family disappointed him.
A. Joseph’s family was the picture of a dysfunctional family.
1. Joseph’s father Jacob had four wives of which Joseph’s mother Rachel was the favorite.
2. Joseph’s mother would die giving birth to his youngest brother Benjamin.
3. Jacob was an overindulgent father this was shown in the favoritism he displayed toward Joseph.
4. Jacob never tried to conceal his favoritism; he showered Joseph with attention and extravagant gifts.
5. Joseph’s ten half-brothers were extremely jealous of Joseph’s favorite status.
B. Joseph’s father did not understand the depth of the brother’s hatred toward Joseph which opens the door for them to exploit and abuse Joseph.
1. Scripture reveals three main things that fueled the brother’s hatred toward Joseph.
a. Jacob had a special coat made for Joseph which served as a constant reminder of his favored status.
b. Joseph was constantly tattling on his brothers.
c. The two dreams Joseph related to his brothers detailing how they would bow before him.
2. Jacob dispatched Joseph to see about the well-being of his brothers. They were grazing the flocks near Shechem several miles north of Hebron. Not finding his brothers in the city, Joseph began to search the pasture lands. A man who found him there directed him further north to the area of Dothan.
3. As Joseph approached, the brothers recognized him and plotted to kill him. They would be rid of that dreamer once and for all.
4. Reuben argued that they should not shed blood, just throw Joseph into a cistern and leave him.
5. Reuben hoped to be able to go back and release Joseph at a later time.
6. Joseph was stripped of his special coat and thrown into an empty cistern. The brothers, oblivious to Joseph’s cries for help, sat down to eat. During the meal they spotted a caravan of Midianite merchants making their way toward Egypt.
7. Judah suggested that rather than slay their own flesh and blood, they sell Joseph to the caravan and thus gain some profit for themselves. The brothers pulled Joseph from the cistern and sold him to the caravanners for twenty pieces of silver. Joseph was on his way to Egypt.
8. Reuben was distraught when he returned to the cistern to find Joseph missing. What would he tell his father? A scheme was devised to conceal their crime. They slew a goat, and dipped Joseph’s robe into the blood. They took the bloody robe to Jacob and asked him to identify it. Jacob jumped to the conclusion that Joseph had been killed by a wild beast.
9. Joseph was faithful to God in spite of the fact that his family let him down.
II. Joseph’s employer disappointed him.
A. The Midianites sold Joseph to one of Pharaoh’s officials, a man named Potiphar. The hand of God had spared Joseph from sure death and placed him in a strategic position in Egypt.
1. Potiphar was the head of security for Pharaoh.
2. In Egypt his master observed that everything the Hebrew did was blessed with success. Step by step Joseph rose to prominence, from: