Summary: Joseph's life was filled with turmoil. He was an abandoned by his brothers, became a slave, accused of rape, and imprisoned. And yet, Joseph handled all of these situations with absolute faith that God was with him.
I want to ask you a question that can actually shape how you view all of life.
Whether times are good, or times are bad,
what would you do if you absolutely knew God was with you?
When you are truly confident that God is with you, it changes everything.
We are talking about what it means to have BIG faith in God.
What would happen if before every major decision, every action, every reaction, you paused to acknowledge God’s presence in your life?
What if you lived like God is right there with you, just as He promised?
This could be the lens through which you filter every decision, opportunity, need, relationship, circumstance of your life.
If this question is kept front and center in your life,
it has the power to bring all of life into the proper perspective.
What would you do if you knew God was with you?
It changes everything when I learn to view my circumstances through the lens of my FAITH IN GOD instead of looking at God through the lens of my circumstances.
We’ve been studying the life of an Old Testament hero by the name of Joseph.
Joseph’s story is found in the first book of the Bible.
Today we are going to pick up in Genesis 41.
Joseph’s story is a story of extremes (circumstances, prosperity, persecution, opportunity, and power).
Joseph probably had more challenges in his life than you or I will ever have.
He probably had more wealth and prosperity than we will ever have
He had more opportunity than any of us will ever experience.
And somehow, Joseph was able to maintain an incredible attitude and amazing faith in the midst of these overwhelming and extreme conditions.
Last week we found that life was rough for Joseph.
His ten older brothers threw him in a well and they were going to leave him there to die because they were jealous.
He was their father’s favorite son.
You’ll recall that their plans changed when they saw a way to make a little extra spending money while keeping their conscience at least somewhat clear.
They decided it would be more compassionate to sell their brother to a traveling of band of merchants as a slave instead of leaving him in the well where they had left him to die.
Then the brothers lied to their father telling him that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal. The Bible tells us that Jacob, Joseph’s father, wept uncontrollably.
Little did he know that
the merchants had taken Joseph to Egypt where he was sold as a slave.
Joseph quickly earned his master’s trust while in Egypt.
He was given great responsibility.
That is until his master’s wife framed him for a crime he did not commit.
Them he was thrown into prison.
Joseph quickly earned the prison guard’s favor and was given great responsibility in the prison, even though he was still a prisoner himself.
And that is where we left him last week, locked up but not hopeless.
What’s so amazing is that throughout the story one recurring phrase keeps showing up. This phrase doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the story at all.
Do you remember the phrase?
“The LORD was with Joseph…” - Genesis 39:2a (NLT2)
It sure didn’t look like the Lord was with Joseph.
When the Lord is with you, aren’t good things supposed to happen?
When the Lord is with you,
• Surely, you won’t be forsaken by your family,
• You shouldn’t get thrown into an empty well.
• And you’re certainly not going to get sold into slavery.
If the Lord is with you, surely there are no false accusations or imprisonment in your future.
That sounds like what happens to people when the Lord is NOT with them.
But as we discovered last week,
those kinds of things can happen…even to someone the Lord is with.
That is exactly what happened to Joseph.
And his response to all of this was to consistently live his life with integrity.
Joseph had BIG faith in a BIG God.
He did not allow his circumstances to skew his view of God.
Today, Joseph’s story is going to do a full 180.
His life is about to turn around from extreme trials and tribulation
to extreme opportunity, wealth, and power.
We have seen how Joseph responded to being abandoned and imprisoned.
Now we’ll see how he reacts to success.
He shows us how we should live
even when we are surrounded by blessings, potential, and opportunity.
Wealth and prosperity (even more than poverty and need) can pull us away from faith in God.
When we are in need - we pray.
When we have everything we need - we tend not to pray.