Summary: Three things that we need not do when things seem wrong
Three things JOSEPH DID not do When Everything was going wrong Genesis 37:18-28
When life is good we smile and enjoy the good times. We respond to others that life is great. Our true character shows up when we are going through times of testing. Why is it when we do face hard times we have free advice that we receive from what we call our friends that seems senseless. We hear such things as “Grin and bear it, “The sun is going to shine tomorrow,” “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” and “When you get to the end of the rope tie a knot and hang on.” These words do not help us much but I know that God’s word is given to us that our bad thoughts or ideas may be replaced by God’s plan.
We have read this morning of a time in Joseph’s life which it seems that there is not much hope. His brothers hated him and were trying to kill him. He is released only to be sold as a slave and taken far away to Egypt where is a slave to one named Potiphar. From going to help his brothers he soon finds himself in prison for ten years on a false accusation. Gen 39:20 “He took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king's prisoners were held.” Would you believe that Satan was there in the prison saying to Joseph, “God does not love you? Just look at all the bad things that have come your way.”
How did Joseph do? I would like for us to consider three things in his life that kept him from doubting God’s love.
1. He did not demand understanding for what was happening to him.
A. It is not wrong to question why things are happening in our lives. This is the way that I have found people find they have something in their life they need to change to make life better. The way of a walk with Christ is a Walk of Faith. I we knew everything that was happening to us we would not have to have faith that God is working all things out together for our good. Is there a good reason or grounds for what his brothers did to him or for what happened as he served Potiphar? We might think why it happened but what did Joseph do to deserve this? He was walking with God.
B. Joseph had to completely trust God in the circumstances he found himself to be placed in and believe that God knew all that was going on. He was his dad’s favorite and life was good until he turned 17. God gave him dreams of the future but did not give the details of how it would happen. You might have a bright future with God but do you want all the details of how you are going to arrive there?
I wonder if there are some who claim to be followers of Christ today who might be facing a tough battle and want to demand of God to explain “Why is this happening to me?” They also might be saying “If you are going to treat me this way then I choose not to follow you.”
C. I would ask why some demand that they understand during hard times. Is it because we do not want to be put in a place of just having to trust the Lord in these times? I know people who work jobs to get more money so they can buy more things and then sit back and say I have everything I need. The rich man in the Bible did this and God said, “This night your soul will stand before me and what will all these goods do you?”
D. Most like to think they can make it by themselves. When hard times come we are not able to take care of ourselves and it places in the position to have to trust God. This is why God sends the hard times. He wants to draw us closer to Him. I have people I work with who do not trust in God because they feel everything is good.
E. We have seen on national TV that what people do in their personal lives is not our concern as long as they do the job they are supposed to do. I remember when Britney Spears said she could dress the way she wanted to because she was not a role model and yet many young girls wanted to be like her. Her character was ruining many a young lives.
F. We are not electing any leaders for our country this year but how many seek to be leaders and decide our future and yet say it does not matter about my character. It should not be your concern if I do drugs, commit adultery, lie, spend money foolishly, have history of crime or do not believe in God. We need to be concerned about the issues of our day.