Summary: This is the third in a series of messages looking at the life of Joseph. This message deals with how we overcome and thrive through trials in life.
How Dreams Come True
Pt 3 ¡V Through Many Trials
¡§Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come ¡V tis grace hath brought me safe thus far and grace shall lead me home.¡¨ Those are the words of the 3rd verse of one of our most beloved hymns ¡V Amazing Grace. They are the truth of most of our lives. The last couple of weeks we have been talking about how dreams come true. Let me recap just for a moment a couple of the main things I want you to remember from this series.
1) God has a plan (a dream) for your life. You are a unique unrepeatable miracle of God and he has a plan for your life.
2) You will never reach that dream without overcoming many obstacles in your life.
3) What the devil can¡¦t take away from you he will try to get you to give up willingly through sin.
We pick up Joseph¡¦s story today ¡V while Joseph is in prison for a crime he did not commit. We pick up the story in Chapter 40.
I almost titled this message ¡V No good deed goes unpunished ¡V but changed my mind. That¡¦s what seems to be happening in Joseph¡¦s life. Every time he gets his head above water ¡V someone pushes him under again. He had it made at home ¡V his brothers throw him into a pit. He has it made a Potiphar¡¦s house ¡V Potiphars wife gets frisky and freaks. He gets an opportunity for someone to help him ¡V the cupbearer forgets him. What¡¦s next? Remember that as we read the story we already know the ending ¡V we know that Joseph is going to get out ¡V and turn out ok. Joseph doesn¡¦t know that. All he sees is one more kick in the pants. One more trial ¡V one more reason to forget his dreams. But God still has a plan. Let me give you a few hints from Joseph¡¦s life that will help during your times of trial following God¡¦s plan for your life.
1) Never, ever give up ¡V Man it¡¦s easy to give up. Things aren¡¦t going your way ¡V the road gets tough ¡V sometimes it would be easier to give up than to keep fighting. If I¡¦m Joseph I¡¦m tempted to give up here. God I¡¦ve tried it your way ¡V I¡¦ve lived by your law ¡V I¡¦ve done it right ¡V I¡¦ve lived right ¡Vand look where it got me. Every time I get ahead ¡V someone comes along and knocks me down again. I¡¦m tired of trying ¡V I quit. Have you ever heard the old expression ¡§Winners never quit and quitters never win?¡¨ It¡¦s true. I am reminded of the story of Hagar ¡V remember her ¡V cast out by Sarah ¡V she wanders in the desert with Ishmael until they finally give up and she parks herself in a place where she won¡¦t see Ishmael die from thirst. Then God opens here eyes and she finds that she quit within sight of the well that would save her life. I am reminded of the Apostle Paul who knew a few things about trials ¡V this is what he said ¡§We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.¡¨ Paul never gave up. Giving up is easy but it will never make a dream come true. Only those who press on to the finish win the prize.
2) Never, ever give in ¡V Never give in to the temptation to take matters into your own hands. Joseph might have seen Potiphar¡¦s wife as a ticket to the big time. If I do what she wants she can make me a powerful man. She can pave my way to the top. If my brothers are going to bow down to me I have to become a powerful man ¡V this lady can get me there. Maybe God sent her to me for just such a purpose. Let me make something clear to you this morning folks ¡V you will never get where God is leading you on a path that leads through sin. God doesn¡¦t get you to glory through the gutter. I hear ¡§it feels right¡¨ ¡§It seems right to me.¡¨ ¡V God is not going to bless your sinfulness ¡V your sinfulness will never get you to the dream God has for you. Often when we take matters into our own hands we make far more trouble for ourselves than we can ever imagine. Remember Abraham ¡V he was promised a son with Sarah ¡V but they couldn¡¦t wait for God ¡V so at Sarah¡¦s prompting he went in to Hagar ¡V and had a son named Ishmael. Ishmael would be a thorn in his side, Isaacs side, and eventually the nations side from then on. Often when we take God¡¦s plan into our own hands we birth an Ishmael into our lives ¡V some problem or consequence that dogs us for the rest of our lives. Don¡¦t give in to the temptation to take matters into your own hands. Be still and know that He is God.