W. Austin Gardner
Handling the Unexpected!
Life doesn’t always turn out like we expected--actually it hardly ever does!
Your personal and spiritual growth will come from how you learn to deal with the unexpected
Just about the time you get used to the new reality something will happen unexpectedly
What can we learn from the life of Joseph that we can personally apply to our lives?
What does this story teach us about the will of God in our lives?
Remember that God has an overriding plan that is going to happen
Remember that Joseph knows little or nothing about what God’s real plan is for his life
About all Joseph can do is deal with what is before him
He will not realize that this was God’s plan until the story is over
Joseph dreams that God is going to make him the leader, ruler over his own family
This does not mean that he thought he would rule Egypt or save his family
All he knows is that he wants to be the ruler
His brothers have beat him up, thrown him in a pit, and sold him to some slave traders
In this chapter, he will be sold to an Egyptian Military Captain
He will begin to prosper and then be falsely accused
He will then be put in prison
What do you do when things just aren’t working out the way you thought they would?
How do you handle disappointments?
What do you do when life throws you a curveball?
How do you keep a good attitude when everything is going wrong?
How do you keep standing when the rug is pulled out from under you and all are falling?
Things I notice from the life of Joseph that just might apply to us
His relationship with God
Evidence that Joseph stayed close to the Lord
The Lord was with Joseph 39:2
Others could even see that God was blessing him 39:3
God even blessed others that Joseph worked with or for because He was with him 39:5
Very likely Joseph felt discouragement, distress, and doubts but he evidently dealt with them and did not allow them to control him
He had been the favored son
He had dreams of great things
Only natural when things go wrong to get discouraged
David was distressed and encouraged himself in the Lord--how I Samuel 30:6
Maybe remembering the promises of God Psalm 27:13
Trusting when he was afraid Psalm 56:3
Committing our life and plans into His hands Psalm 37:3-6
Apparently, Paul felt discouragement and dealt with it
Caused him to learn to trust God instead of himself II Corinthians 1:8-10
Seeing that the earthly conflict was for heavenly good II Corinthians 4:16-18
Keep a right attitude
Joseph was successful no matter where he was placed--even after the unexpected! 39:2
Joseph did something that found grace in the eyes of his master--owner 39:4
We might not know what he did but we know what he didn't do
Try to escape
Have a rebellious angry bitter spirit about his circumstances
Sit around moaning and groaning about what was going wrong
Some ideas of what he may have done
Be responsible in all the duties he was given
Remember he very likely never would have had to do this before
The normal slave reaction is to do slipshod work or just get by
Not need to be told everything to do Proverbs 6:6-11
Be respectful of his master
Don't try to take advantage of the trust his master was placing in him
He served his master 39:4
The word served speaks volumes to me--he gave himself to the other
He who had been high became low
He humbled himself
Do right no matter what is happening
Bob Jones, Sr. Said do right though the stars fall!
Do not allow your fears, insecurities, etc to give you a bad attitude
Show character and commitment when all is falling apart
His “be” level was sufficiently developed that a storm did not change who he really was
Even when given the opportunity he did not want to sin against God 39:9
We need to remember that our sin is against God and no one else Psalm 51:4
We rationalize that we have a right to the sin, the attitude and think that it is against our aggressor
We say that character is who you are when no one is looking
Character is who you are when you are under pressure
We are to do all we do as unto the Lord Colossians 3:22-24
His “do” level based on his “be” was so strong that he will get promoted and blessed even in the most unexpected turns in his life
Trust that God is working even though you can’t see it and do not understand
The Bible doesn’t say that Joseph was trusting God or even looking for His promise
I just think it is obvious from his life, attitude, and the outcome of the story
We are to recognize God in all of our ways Proverbs 3:5-6
We are to hope in God II Kings 18:5-7
Though we can't see it, the unexpected was not unexpected for the Father Romans 8:28-29
He will accomplish His purposes in our lives Philippians 1:6
He doesn’t fail or forsake us while we have a job to do I Chronicles 28:20, Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5