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 Survive Life’s Greatest Successes

Series: Surviving the School of Hard Knocks

July 16, 2000

These individual quotes were reportedly taken from actual employee performance evaluations in a large US Corporation. (1) "Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom.....and has started to dig." (2) "His men would follow him anywhere, ....... but only out of morbid curiosity." (3) "I would not allow this employee to breed." (5) "Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap." (7) "He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle." (9) "He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them." (10) "This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot." (11) "This employee should go far, ... And the sooner he starts, the better." (12) "Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thing to hold it all together." (15) "He doesn’t have ulcers, but he’s a carrier." (21) "When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell." (22) "If you see two people talking and one looks bored, ..... he’s the other one." (27) "Has two brains: one is lost and the other is out looking for it." (29) "If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you’d get change." (30) "If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the oceans."

(33) "Some drink from the fountain of knowledge;..... he only gargled." ___________________________________________________

Well, as we’ve been studying the life of Joseph, he was anything but a bad employee with a poor performance record. In fact, it was because he was such a “good” employee that he got in the trouble he found himself.

If you’ll remember, when we last left Joseph, he was in prison for attempted rape. A crime he didn’t commit.

“Hope” came in the form of two fellow prisoners. He was able to interpret their dreams, and they swore that when they got out, they would mention his case to Pharaoh.

But the cupbearer failed to even remember Josephs name, (let alone talk to Pharaoh about him!)

Two long years passed after that event, and still Joseph sat… his life wasting away. Or so he thought… What God had in store for his life was greater than he could ever imagine!

Now as we study the life of Joseph, I want you to pay special attention to the way God works, because in His actions towards Joseph, He’s revealing something about Himself to us.

The bible says that Jesus Christ is the same “yesterday, today and forever.” Because that’s true, the way you see him dealing with Joseph and other O.T. characters, shows us how He works today in our lives.

In otherwords, we can gain insight into what God is doing in our lives and how He is working in our situation, by studying how He’s worked in the past!

Today, I want to share with you some principles from the life of Joseph on how to survive life’s greatest successes.

That sounds a little contradictory doesn’t it? Nobody thinks of “surviving” success. It’s almost an oxymoron… like “government- efficiency” or “ _____________________________ .

But I like what J. Oswald Sanders once wrote, “Not every man can carry a full cup. Sudden elevation frequently leads to pride and a fall. The most exacting test of all to survive… is prosperity.”

The ego and pride that come with “making it to the top” have brought more people to the bottom than anything else.

After two full years of long, dull, monotonous, unspectacular waiting…Joseph is about to experience a turning pt. in his life.

On a “dungeon day” that seemed like every other “dungeon day”… something happened that Joseph knew nothing about…

The night before, Pharaoh had had a bad dream.

Read Gen. 41:1-7

Do you remember the last time you had a bad dream? I do! It was this past week. I dreamed that Matthew had been in a bad auto accident and gotten killed.

But, that wasn’t the worst part! The worst part was when I heard about it. Rudonna came to me and told me what had happened and I cried, “No! This can’t be happening to me! This must be a dream!” And then Rudonna said… “No, Chris… it’s not a dream!”

Now folks, it’s getting serious when your dream starts telling you that you’re not dreaming!

I cried and weeped, “No… it’s got to be a dream! It’s got to be a dream… and Rudonna kept assuring me that it wasn’t! After what seemed like an eternity, I finally escaped my dream and woke Rudonna up to see if Matthew was alright!

Of course he was, but let me tell you… that was scary! How do you escape a dream that keeps telling you it’s not a dream? (By the way Matthew, if you think you’re going to get to drive the car anytime soon… forget it!)

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