Summary: How God makes a way when your problems seem unsolvable.
This is the 3rd installment in the 4-part series on Second Chances. We’ve been looking at the times the Bible uses the phrase "a second time" and we’ve been learning more about how God gives each of us numerous opportunities to do His will and experience the joyful life He offers.
It is so good to be reminded that our past failures are not final and our pain need not be fatal. It’s good to know that our Creator is willing to work with us, to be patient and understanding with us, to give us many opportunities to learn and grow. He doesn’t cast us away when we fail. He doesn’t turn His back on us.
Our second chance account for today comes from the story of Joseph and his brothers.
Acts 7:13 (NLT) THE SECOND TIME they went, Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers, and they were introduced to Pharaoh.
Drought and famine lingered on and on, so Joseph’s brothers were forced to return to Egypt a second time. The first time they went to Egypt for food they didn’t recognize their brother Joseph whom they had sold as a slave years earlier. The providence of God had landed Joseph in the position of being in charge of the very supply distribution program that his brothers sought.
You shouldn’t be able to think of the story of Joseph without standing in awe of God’s ability to pre-arrange circumstances to accomplish His will and let us share in His joy!
There are two very big things you ought to think of every time you consider the story of Joseph and his brothers: 1) you are loved; and 2) there is hope!
God knows what you will need tomorrow and the day after that, next year and the year after that. And I’m talking about the needs you have that are non-material as well as material. He’s already made plans to see to it that all of your needs are met! Every problem, every adverse circumstance, He already has a plan for you to work it out. Why? Because of His great love for you!
Think about the biblical examples of how God’s providence ruled the day. Moses’ mamma didn’t put him in a basket in the bulrushes of the Nile River by accident. God knew that Pharaoh’s daughter would be coming along at just the right time! He didn’t ask Abraham to offer up Isaac without already having planned for a ram to be stuck in the bushes for the sacrifice. God instructed Noah to build an ark long before it ever rained so that he would have a ship in which to save his family. There are no surprises with God! He knows the pressures you’ll face long before you ever get there. And He also has the answers!
The story of Jacob’s boys that we consider today is also a story of God’s providence. And it is a story that teaches us HOW God is always working things out. The story of Joseph teaches us how God transforms pain by perseverance, how He transforms hurt into hope, and sorrow into success.
Today we want to learn about HOW God will make a way. When you face those seemingly unanswerable questions in life, when you come to those supposedly impassable roadblocks – here’s how you can overcome them!
How will God make a way in your life? Joseph’s life was a triumph and not a tragedy – because God made a way! And He will make a way for you utilizing the same principles.
1. God will make a way by offering the forgiveness you need.
Philip Yancey shared this in book, "Rumors of Another World."
"Living in Colorado, I climb mountains. Colorado has 54 mountains rising above 14,000 feet and every summer I climb some of them. On a summer weekend in the mountains, I see casual hikers who have no idea what they are doing. In sandals, shorts and t-shirts, carrying a single container of water, they start up a trail at mid-morning. They have no map, no compass, and no rain gear. They also have no apparent knowledge of the lightning storms that roll in many summer afternoons, making it imperative to summit before noon and head for the safety of the timberline (the elevation in a mountainous region above which trees do not grow).
"My neighbor," Yancey continues, "who volunteers for Alpine Rescue, has told me hair-raising stories of tourists who must be rescued from certain death after wandering off a trail, falling, or simply being exposed to a sudden hailstorm or 30-degree drop in temperature. Nevertheless, regardless of the circumstances, Alpine Rescue always responds to a call for help. Not once have they lectured a hapless tourist, ‘Well, since you obviously ignored the most basic rules of the wilderness, you’ll just have to sit here and bear the consequences. We won’t assist you.’