Word Alive! © 2020 Summer Series
We Can Get Through This!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tuesday, 1 Sept., 2020
Max Lucado, “You’ll Get Through This,” Lesson 10, (Chapter 9)
Devotional Time: “You’ll Get Through This,” (pp. 89-9)
Attitude – Our feelings and thoughts are described by our attitudes. These moods play a large part in how we think, and how we respond to what’s happening around us. A person’s relationship with God plays a major role in how our attitudes are formed. The Apostle Peter taught that our security in God’s sovereign ability to provide our needs, is predicated on the maturity of our relationship with Him (cf. 2 Peter 1:3, NLT). It’s only human for any of us to be concerned about the experiences we encounter in life. As later generations looked back on the life of Joseph, they became aware that much of what Joseph experienced in Egypt was a test of his character (cf. Psalm 105:19, NLT). Joseph’s steadfast relationship with God seemed to have given him the sense that everything he went through was a part of God’s plan for him. It was this realization that likely formed Joseph’s thoughts, and gave balance to his personal feelings. Despite his trials, Joseph is portrayed as having a “confident” spirit. Joseph is never described in the scriptures as being angry, doubtful, or with a foreboding attitude. It was this godly demeanor, and the demonstration of Joseph’s gifts, that caused Pharaoh to realize that Joseph was more of an asset to Egypt beside him in the palace, than in a dank prison. Joseph “believed” that God would release him from confinement, and it happened! Psalm 105:20 reads: “The Pharaoh sent for him and set him free; the ruler of the nation opened his prison door (NLT).”
Like Joseph, our attitude about what we’re going through, should be hopeful, causing us to think and look forward. In his devotional book, You’ll Get Through This, author Max Lucado says: “What is coming will make sense of what is happening now. Let God finish His work. Let the composer complete His symphony.” God’s plan for the rest of Joseph’s life, began with the appointment and irrevocable authority Pharaoh gave him (cf. Genesis 41:42-44, NLT). Joseph’s gifts worked in several ways, with favorable outcomes: His godly demeanor caught the attention of people who could not impugn his character; his gift of interpreting dreams, placed him in the presence of significant people; and, his gift of intellect, made him a wise planner, forecaster, organizer, and systems thinker. Even in a crisis, where and how we go forward is determined much by our own attitude! In a crisis, put hope over doubt!
Gratitude and Favor – Finding something to be grateful for in a season of distress can be difficult, but it’s necessary to reach the next chapter of our lives. Lucado says, “Gratitude doesn’t come naturally. Self-pity does.” Joseph had every reason not to show any gratitude, because of what he had experienced. Lucado points out, “He had cause to be ungrateful. Abandoned. Enslaved. Betrayed. Estranged. Yet try we might to find tinges of bitterness, we don’t succeed.” When we remain in a consistent relationship with God, we are never forgotten, regardless of the circumstances. In preaching his great sermon that we find in the New Testament, Stephen said God rewarded Joseph’s gratitude with “favor” (cf. Acts 7:9b; 10a, NLT).”
In this sense, favor (Greek, xaris) means: God gave Joseph the “ability to influence others, and to receive the benefit of helping others.” This is demonstrably evident in Joseph being given a wife, the daughter of a prominent priest in Egypt. The marriage confirmed Joseph’s social status in Egypt. Even this, did not distract Joseph from the mission he knew God had given him (cf. Genesis 41:45-46, NLT). When Joseph and his wife, Assenath, had their two sons, the boys were given Hebrew names. This was important to Joseph because the naming of a child in the Hebrew culture was to express gratitude to God for what he had done, and for appreciation for His favor (cf. Genesis 41:50-52, NLT). The naming of the sons was Joseph’s testimony of how God was with him through the difficult periods in his life. The birth of his sons caused Joseph “not to linger over” the misdeeds done to him. The births also caused him to appreciate God, even in a land where a critical period in his life was profound. The development of spiritual character is everything, and it forms our core being (cf. Proverbs 12:2, NIV). Our relationship with God will cause us to be thankful in “every” situation (cf. I Thessalonians 5:18, NLT). We will not merely pick and choose what we decide is worth being thankful for. Spiritual maturity ushers us daily into the presence of God, who assures us that every experience is for our good. Like Joseph, Gods favor will rest on us!
What We Believe
A healthy attitude toward God, will give us a grateful heart.
1. It’s not the circumstance that counts, but the benefit that comes as a result of the circumstance!
2. Even the night Jesus was betrayed, He gave thanks!
Peter 1:3, NLT
“By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the one who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence.”
Psalm 105:19, NLT
“Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.”
Genesis 41:42-44, NLT
“Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and placed it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed hm in fine linen clothing and hung a gold chain around his neck. Then he had Joseph ride in the chariot reserved for his second-in-command. And wherever Joseph went, the command was shouted, “Kneel down 1” So Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of Egypt. And Pharaoh said to him, “I am Pharaoh, but no one will lift a hand or foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.”
Psalm 105: 21-22, NLT
“Joseph was put in charge of all the king’s household, he became ruler over all the king’s possessions. He could instruct the king’s aides as he pleased and teach the king’s advisors.”
Psalm 105:20, NLT
“Then Pharaoh sent for him and set him free; the ruler of the nation opened his prison door.”
Acts 7:9b; 10a, NLT
“But God was with him. And God gave him favor before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. God also gave Joseph unusual wisdom…”
Genesis 41:45-46, NLT
“Then Pharaoh gave Joseph anew Egyptian name, Zaph-enath-paneah. He also gave him a wife whose name was Asenath. She was the daughter of Potiphera; the priest of On. So Joseph took charge of the entire land of Egypt. He was thirty years old when he began serving in the court of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And when Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, he inspected the entire land of Egypt.”
Genesis 41:50-52, NLT
“During this time, before the first of the famine years, two sons were born to Joseph and his wife, Assenath, the daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On. Joseph named his older son Manasseh, for he said, “God has made me forget all my troubles and everyone in my father’s house.” Joseph named the second son Ephraim, for he said, “God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief.”
Proverbs 12: 2, NIV
“A good [person] obtains favor from the Lord, but the Lord condemns a crafty person.”
I Thessalonians 5:18, NLT
“Be thankful in all circum-stances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”