Summary: This series follows the life of Joseph as he enrolls in the "School of Hard Knocks". Learn how you too can be victorious no matter what life throws at you.

How to Deal with Life’s Greatest Changes

Series: Surviving the School of Hard Knocks

August 6, 2000

Show video clip, “Toy Story” ( start 25:05 “What is it?” – Stop 31:02 “They’ll see. I’m still Andy’s favorite toy.” Duration: 6 min.)

Change is a tough thing to swallow. Whether you’re being asked to deal with some new policy changes at work, or you’re being replaced by a newer and better toy… change is no fun.

When Buzz Lightyear shows up at a surprise birthday party, Woody is knocked out of bed and ends up face to face with his replacement.

And whether he likes it or not, Woody is forced to deal with change.

I think everyone of us here this morning can relate to Woody.

If you were born before 1945… think of the changes you’ve experienced…

You were born before T.V, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, plastic, contact lenses, credit cards, pantyhose or the Pill.

In your time “closets” were for clothes, not for “coming out of”.

A “chip” meant a piece of wood, “hardware” meant hardware, and “software” wasn’t even a word!

“Made in Japan” meant junk… “Grass” was something you mowed, “Coke” was a cold drink, and “pot” something you cooked in. “Rock music” was grandma’s lullaby, and “Aids” were helpers in the principal’s office.

A lot of things have changed since 1945… and not all of them good! But, whether we like it or not… things change! It’s inevitable and unavoidable.

Think about it, without change, life would quickly become dull and unbearably boring. Can you imagine wearing the same clothes, and having the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday?

Change is also a necessary part of life… it’s essential to our growth. I like what a famous inventor once said, “The world hates change, yet it’s the only thing that’s brought progress.” That’s true.

Well in our story of Joseph this morning, Joseph’s dad, (Jacob) is going to be faced with a major change in his life, and it’s not exactly a change he wants to make.

What’s interesting is how much he resembles us and our reactions when it comes to this issue.

If you’ve been here over the past 6 wks. we’ve been studying the roller-coaster life of Joseph in the book of Genesis, as a way of gaining insight on how to survive the school of hard knocks, we call… “life”!

Now, if you’ll remember, by studying Joseph, we’ve been learning how to:

…pass life’s greatest tests,

…resist life’s greatest temptations,

…escape life’s greatest prisons,

…survive life’s greatest successes,

…overcome life’s greatest hurts

and this morning…”How to Deal with Life’s Greatest Changes.”

A couple of weeks ago, (before I took off on a wk. of vacation)…

we had come to the climax of Josephs story. After all the years of learning and hardship… Joseph (by God’s amazing coincidences) had been elevated to become the prime minister of Egypt.

In a twist of fate that even Hitchcock would be surprised at, Joseph’s brother’s show up on his door step, asking for food during a great time of famine.

After a number of tactics designed to expose their true character, Joseph reveals himself to them. It’s an incredibly moving family reunion… but it wasn’t complete yet.

Because, remember, Jacob, (Josephs father) was still waiting back in Israel. He had no idea about what was happening… and so he feared the worst.

So, I want to back-track little bit… because if it had been up to Jacob, this family reunion would have never taken place.

Remember? When Jacob found out that this mysterious ruler in Egypt wanted to see his youngest son as proof of their identity…

Even though one of his sons (Simeon) was being held hostage until they showed up with Benjamen… He dug his heels in and said, “You gotta be crazy! NO WAY!” (READ Gen.42:38)

His sons had returned with plenty of grain, (free of charge) and all they needed was proof that they weren’t spies by returning with their youngest brother.

But instead of seeing that God just might be working in this situation… Jacob freaked! Even though he’d known the Lord for over 100 yrs., Jacob was a man who had a lot of trouble walking by faith.

He constantly wrestled with a suspicious, closed, resistant and stubborn mind. Sounds a lot like us huh?

I gotta admit, stubbornness does have it’s helpful features. At least when you’re stubborn you always know what you are going to be thinking about tomorrow!

But for the most part, it gets us into more trouble than it’s worth!

Now it’s one thing for us to reading about this story, knowing what the outcome is and saying… “What’s Jacob so stressed out about? I would have trusted God in that situation!”

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Sonny Thomas, Sr.

commented on Nov 15, 2017

I don't believe the illustration about the Olympic skier is accurate. See link below.

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