Summary: We look at how Joseph handled the curve balls (life’s interuptions) thrown at him.
Handling Life’s Curve Balls
October 6, 2001
Intro: We have all had curve balls thrown at us in life. What is a curve ball? It is an unexpected interruption in the normal routine of life. It could be anything from your hard drive crashing 10 minutes before your deadline or a major tragedy falling on your life.
Life’s curve ball’s come from a variety of sources. Sometimes because of our actions we deserve the certain consequences we are experiencing. Other times life’s interruptions come so suddenly and so unexpectantly. We need to expect the curve balls in our lives. We need to expect the interruptions in our lives. We just need to come clean with the reality that the curve balls are coming. Jesus told us himself that in this world we will have trouble! (John 16:33). That word trouble means pressure. It’s a promise. Your hard drive will crash. Loved ones will pass away. You will be sick. Your bank account will be empty at some point.
When I think about people who had a lot of curve balls thrown at them in life, I think about the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to read the entire account of his life so let me encourage you to read it on your own. His story begins in Genesis 37 and ends in Genesis 50. Here is a guy who experienced being sold into slavery by his brothers. He was falsely accused of having an affair with his boss’s wife and then thrown in prison. He faces the very brothers who sold him into slavery. Joseph’s life was full of ups and downs. In his story and others like his there are some important truths we can find that help us know how to handle life’s curve balls.
As you read through the life of Joseph we never see him shaking his fist at God. On the contrary this is what he has to say about what happened to him in Genesis 50:20 “As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil. He brought me to the high position I have today so I could save the lives of many people.” (NLT)
You see Joseph had the right attitude toward the interruptions in his life. How can we like Joseph respond to life’s curve balls?
1). Stay faithful to God!
God’s hand of blessing was on Joseph even while he was in prison. We can infer from this that Joseph kept his cool. He didn’t “lose his religion.” He was unfairly thrown in prison but he never blamed God. Stay faithful to God even when no one else does.
A second thing we must keep in mind as we try and handle life’s curve balls is:
2). We must be careful not to allow bitterness and unforgiveness in our lives.
Genesis 50:19 “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, to judge and punish you.”
If anyone had a right to be angry and bitter it was Joseph. He had every right to punish his brothers like they did him. But he never let that get to him. I realize that for some of you life has been unfair. Don’t let bitterness and anger lay hold of your life. I know it is not easy. Let’s be honest, sometimes we have to fight to make sure we don’t have those unforgiving attitudes. Do what you can. Talk about it. Get help. Keep from having an unforgiving spirit spring up in your life.