• W. Austin Gardner

Handling the Unexpected!


Genesis 39:1-20


  • 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

  1. His relationship with God

  2. Evidence that Joseph stayed close to the Lord

  3. The Lord was with Joseph 39:2

  4. Others could even see that God was blessing him 39:3

  5. God even blessed others that Joseph worked with or for because He was with him 39:5

  6. Very likely Joseph felt discouragement, distress, and doubts but he evidently dealt with them and did not allow them to control him

  7. He had been the favored son

  8. He had dreams of great things

  9. Only natural when things go wrong to get discouraged

  10. David was distressed and encouraged himself in the Lord--how I Samuel 30:6

  11. Maybe remembering the promises of God Psalm 27:13

  12. Trusting when he was afraid Psalm 56:3

  13. Committing our life and plans into His hands Psalm 37:3-6

  14. Apparently, Paul felt discouragement and dealt with it

  15. Caused him to learn to trust God instead of himself II Corinthians 1:8-10

  16. Seeing that the earthly conflict was for heavenly good II Corinthians 4:16-18

  17. Keep a right attitude

  18. Joseph was successful no matter where he was placed--even after the unexpected! 39:2

  19. Joseph did something that found grace in the eyes of his master--owner 39:4

  20. We might not know what he did but we know what he didn't do

  21. Try to escape

  22. Have a rebellious angry bitter spirit about his circumstances

  23. Sit around moaning and groaning about what was going wrong

  24. Some ideas of what he may have done

  25. Be responsible in all the duties he was given

  26. Remember he very likely never would have had to do this before

  27. The normal slave reaction is to do slipshod work or just get by

  28. Not need to be told everything to do Proverbs 6:6-11

  29. Be respectful of his master

  30. Don't try to take advantage of the trust his master was placing in him

  31. He served his master 39:4

  32. The word served speaks volumes to me--he gave himself to the other

  33. He who had been high became low

  34. He humbled himself

  35. Do right no matter what is happening

  36. Bob Jones, Sr. Said do right though the stars fall!

  37. Do not allow your fears, insecurities, etc to give you a bad attitude

  38. Show character and commitment when all is falling apart

  39. His “be” level was sufficiently developed that a storm did not change who he really was

  40. Even when given the opportunity he did not want to sin against God 39:9

  41. We need to remember that our sin is against God and no one else Psalm 51:4

  42. We rationalize that we have a right to the sin, the attitude and think that it is against our aggressor

  43. We say that character is who you are when no one is looking

  44. Character is who you are when you are under pressure

  45. We are to do all we do as unto the Lord Colossians 3:22-24

  46. 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

  47. Trust that God is working even though you can’t see it and do not understand

  48. The Bible doesn’t say that Joseph was trusting God or even looking for His promise

  49. I just think it is obvious from his life, attitude, and the outcome of the story

  50. We are to recognize God in all of our ways Proverbs 3:5-6

  51. We are to hope in God II Kings 18:5-7

  52. Though we can't see it, the unexpected was not unexpected for the Father Romans 8:28-29

  53. He will accomplish His purposes in our lives Philippians 1:6

  54. He doesn’t fail or forsake us while we have a job to do I Chronicles 28:20, Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5

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