Summary: If you were to ask Joseph, “How did you become such a great success?” Perhaps he would have told you this following message of how God used seven tragic things in his life to make of him a success!


“How I became a Great Success?”

Introduction: No, I am not talking about me in the title! I am talking about Joseph. After being placed into the position of the most important person in the world at only thirty years of age, if you were to ask Joseph, “How did you become such a great success?” Perhaps he would have told you this following message:

Seven tragic things happened to my life…

Key Verse:

(Rom 8:28 KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Tragedy Number 1.

The death of my mother.

(Gen 35:19 KJV) And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.

When Joseph was just a young lad his mother, Rachel, died while giving birth to his younger brother, Benjamin. Do you remember how much the father of Joseph loved Rachel? He had served his Father-in-law fourteen years for her hand in marriage. Joseph lived in a dysfunctional home. Jacob had four wives, but his favorite was Rachel. Now she was gone.

The question is, “How could the death of Joseph’s mother contribute to Joseph’s success? Remember our key verse? How could God work this together for the good?


I learned... The love of my Father.

When Rachel died, Jacob poured out his love on Rachel’s son, Joseph. He made him a coat of many colors. Joseph became the beloved of his Father.

We should also note that it was Rachel who had stolen her father’s idol when they had left her childhood homeland. Perhaps, God was protecting Joseph from going into the same direction with his life.

Tragedy Number 2.

My brothers hated me.

(Gen 37:4 KJV) And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

The brothers of Joseph were envious of Joseph’s coat of many colors and of the dreams that God had given him for his life. They would not talk to him unless it was to curse at him.

How could God use there hatred for good?


I learned... The love of God.

In his loneliness, Joseph would seek out the one who would love him closer than a brother! When your brothers won’t talk to you, you will soon learn to talk to the only one who will listen. Joseph would learn the intimacy of Christ.

Tragedy Number 3.

I had a near death experience.

(Gen 37:24 KJV) And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.

When Joseph was sent from his father to see how his older brothers were doing in the field, they saw him coming with his coat of many colors a great way off. They devised a plan to take his life. He was stripped of his coat and thrown into a pit without water.

How could God use this near death experience in the life of Joseph for good?


I learned... The brevity of life.

No doubt young Joseph must have done some serious thinking about eternity on the day of his near death experience. Where would he go if he would have died that day? What had he accomplished for God in his short life?

Tragedy Number 4.

I was sold into slavery.

(Gen 37:28 KJV) Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

Instead of taking his life, the brothers of Joseph sold him into slavery:

How could God use this tragic experience to the develop the character of Joseph?


I learned... To live a disciplined life.

As a slave you learn to obey. A person cannot become a success without discipline in their lives. Joseph learned to obey his master, Potipher. When he was approached daily by the wife of Potipher to go to bed with him, he had learned enough discipline to say “no” to his fleshly desires, and to leave her holding his coat as he fled from the house!

Tragedy Number 5.

I was lied about and lost my reputation.

(Gen 39:17 KJV) And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me:

Potipher’s wife lied about Joseph. She accused him of trying to rape her. How could God use this experience to help shape Joseph’s character?


I learned... You overcome wrong by living right.

When people say that you are no good, live right and prove them wrong! God knows the truth. The truth will win out.

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