Summary: This sermon deals with how God worked through the life of Joseph a spirit-filled man in order to deliver Egypt and his own family from a serious crisis--starvation. The way Joseph survived the crisis is the same today.
Introduction: “A study of 300 highly successful people like Franklin Delano
Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Winston Churchill, Albert Schweitzer, Mahatma
Gandhi, and Albert Einstein revealed that one-fourth had handicaps such as
blindness, deafness, or crippled limbs. Three-fourths had either been born
in poverty, came from broken homes, or at least came from exceedingly tense,
disturbed situations.” –John Maxwell, Developing The Leader Within You
People do not succeed in life because they were fortunate enough to be given
a life totally absent of problems. In fact, it is because of the personal
problems they faced that people became strong survivors.
”Most of the New Testament Epistles were written from prison. Bunyan wrote
Pilgrim¹s Progress from jail. Florence Nightingale, too ill to move from her
bed, reorganized the hospitals of England. Semi paralyzed and under constant
menace of apoplexy, Pasteur was tireless in his attack on disease. During
the greater part of his life, American historian Francis Parkman suffered so
acutely that he could not work for more than five minutes at a time. His
eyesight was so wretched that he could scrawl only a few gigantic words on a
manuscript, but he contrived to write twenty magnificent volumes of
history.” -Williamsport: Coslett Publishing, 1948
Joseph was a man who knew how to survive despite the tremendous obstacles
that he faced: hated by his own family, sold into slavery, imprisoned being
innocent, and forgotten for years by those he helped. Yet he survived and
God used him to teach a nation how to survive in the midst of crisis. Every
one of us is going to go through times of crisis when trouble and even
sorrow threaten the stability of life as we know it. I believe that God has
a plan to help us get through these turning points in life when everything
around us seems to be crumbling.
Let’s take a look at how Joseph survived personally and how a nation was
delivered from complete devastation by the wisdom of a godly man named
Joseph (Genesis 41:14-44).
I. In the midst of Crisis
A. God’s purpose is clear to the spiritually minded (Genesis 41:38).
Note: Joseph discovered God¹s purpose because he was a
spiritually minded man (I Corinthians 2:14, 15). The wise men of Egypt had
no idea what God was doing.
B. God’s purpose always involves rescuing humanity (verse 36).
God came to earth to rescue humanity from sin and hell. It is His will that we do the same thing with our lives. (Luke 19:10).
C. God’s purpose is always best for your life (Romans 8:28; II
Note: God¹s purpose is not always easy to understand, but
there is a purpose in all that God is doing in our lives.
II. In The Midst of Crisis
A. Base your survival plan on the revealed will of God.
1. God has given us His Word, which is the revelation of His
will for our lives (Psalm 19:7-11).
2. We are not left in the dark when crisis strikes. We have
the Word of God to guide us.
B. Use the gifts and abilities that God has given you.
Example: Joseph immediately tapped into the wisdom that God had
given him to devise a survival plan to get through the crisis. God expects
us to do all we can do, and then He will do all that He can do.
C. Believe that God will see you through the crisis (Psalm 50:15;
125:1-3). It takes faith to make it through.
Example: The story of the American who visited Hong Kong and saw
a sign in a tattoo parlor window that advertised that you could come in and
have “born to lose” tattooed on your body. The American went in and asked;
”Do people really come in here and get “Born to lose” tattooed on them? I
can’t believe that anybody in their right mind would have that tattooed on
their body.” The Chinese shop owner tapped his forehead and answered in
broken English, “Before tattoo on body, tattoo on mind.”
III. In the Midst of Crisis
A. To complete God’s program for your life, be determined to
overcome any and all obstacles (Genesis 47:13-16). Once you know the will of
God for your life, don¹t backtrack. Stay on the course.
Example: Think about what Joseph probably went through to do the
right thing and save the land from destruction.
1. He was probably thought to be crazy during the seven years
2. He was probably attacked constantly because he was
different. He was a foreigner; he served Jehovah; he was an ex-convict, etc.
B. To complete God¹s program for your life, expect things to get
worse before they get better (Genesis 47:20, 21). Life is 10% what happens
to me and 90% how I react to it.