Summary: Part 2 of 3 part series. God will never waste a hurt. When we have been abandoned by everyone else, God remains faithful to us and will use our pain to minister to our world
The Heartbreak of Abandonment
Theme: Because people are infected with sin, they will fail us and abandon us. But God is unfailing
and his love is unchanging.
Seed: Personal study
Purpose: To help the congregation realize that God is unfailing in his love for us, that he will never
abandon us and that he will use our pain to bring about good.
Series: Thank God for Broken Hearts
Introduction: Being abandoned. Being abandoned is one of the most powerful ways to have your heart broken. There’s nothing quite like being left alone, away from all you know and love, with very little hope of being reunited with the familiar.
Abandonment breaks our hearts and makes us angry. Some people respond by becoming calloused and bitter. Some people respond by falling into despair and hopelessness. Some respond by learning and growing and developing a heart of compassion for those who have and who will experience the same pain.
Regardless of how/why you are abandoned and regardless of your initial response to abandonment, you can actually thank God for the broken heart of abandonment. That may see like a stretch, especially if you are in the middle of the hurt of abandonment, but as I said last week, God will never waste a hurt.
And just like disappointment, the pain of abandonment can and will be used by God to shape us and form us into who he needs us to be.
Remember, our pain is not our own and it is rarely about us. We need to remember that,
”You do not belong to yourself”
I Corinthians 6:19b (NLT)
Often our heart breaks are so that God can shape us and use us in the lives of others. For that reason alone we should be thankful for broken hearts.
Last week we looked at the heart ache of disappointment. Crushing disappointment will break our hearts but in our disappointment God will shape us and make us more than we currently are.
Today I want to explore the heartache of abandonment. There are times in life when we will feel completely abandoned and alone. There are times in life when will be completely abandoned and alone. But in the midst of the heartache of abandonment, we can be thankful to God because, not only will he use the pain to shape us into his image, but he will reveal to us that though everyone else will fail and hurt us, He will remain faithful and will heal us. When we are crushed by the heartbreak of abandonment, we will experience the healing presence of Christ.
I want to examine the story of Joseph today. Joseph was a young man who experienced abandonment over and over again. His life, as a young man, was a series of painful, devastating abandonments and yet in his life we see the hand of God at work, healing Joseph and saving others.
Let’s look a Joseph’s story together and see why we can find reasons to thank God for the heartbreak of abandonment.
Story of Joseph
Joseph was the 11th of 12 boys. His father, Jacob was an old man when Joseph was born and Joseph was the son of Jacob and the Rachel, the one woman he loved more than any other. Because of this, Joseph was Jacob’s favorite son. The Bible tells us that Jacob loved Joseph more than his other sons. Before the story even gets going we have a recipe for disaster.
Not only was Joseph daddy’s favorite, but he was pain in the neck to his brothers. The story of Joseph which starts in Genesis 37 begins by telling us that Joseph was fond of bringing a bad report about his brothers to his father. Jacob doesn’t help the situation. Not only is Joseph his favorite and not only does Joseph love to rat out his brothers, but his father gives Joseph a special gift; A beautifully, embroidered coat – a coat of many colors.
Joseph loves to tell on his brothers, he is daddy’s favorite and his father gives him special gifts that are not discreet. All of this works against Joseph. His brothers grow to hate him and even refuse to speak to him.
Joseph doesn’t take the hint though. Not only is he daddy’s favorite and a little tattle tale, but he then begins to have dreams, big dreams. Joseph has a dream that he and his brothers are harvesting wheat in the field and suddenly their bundles of wheat bow down to his. The implication is clear. He has a dream that one day his brothers will bow before him. Joseph, being spoiled and undisciplined can’t resist the urge to tell his brothers about the dream. This just adds fuel to the fire. Not only do they despise him, but now he has the gall to tell them that someday they will bow before him. To the middle-eastern mind of the day this would have been a tremendous insult. The older brothers did not bow and worship the younger.