Word Alive! © 2020 Summer Series
We Can Get Through This!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tuesday, 22, Sept., 2020
Max Lucado, “You’ll Get Through This,” Lesson 13, (Chapter 12)
Devotional Time: “You’ll Get Through This,” (pp. 119-128)
The Working of God’s Purpose – There are some things in life that are certain. One certainty is that in spite of our trials, God’s purpose will prevail. In the nascent prayer Jesus taught His disciples, He instructed them to request of God, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (CF. Matthew 6:10b, NIV) The will of God is really what He intends for us. The Greek word used in the Matthews passage is thelema (thel-ay-mah), which means “determination, volition, and desire.” Whatever we encounter, God has a grand plan that will work for our benefit. As Christians we have the assurance, that in Christ everything will ultimately work out for us (cf. Ephesians 1:10-11b, NLT). Even in unsettling seasons and treacherous times, God’s purpose will have the last word (cf. Proverbs 18:21, NLT). There are few narratives in Scripture that are as compelling as the trials and triumph of Joseph. The scriptures do not romanticize Joseph’s ordeal. Joseph was “sent to Egypt in advance of the famine,” so that others could be saved (cf. Psalm 105:16-17; 19-21, NLT). Despite Joseph’s suffering, as part of his ordeal, he would be elevated to prominence. If Joseph had never left Canaan, he would not have been in a position to help his father, brothers, and his people. Joseph’s life reveals that God will permit us to encounter difficulties we didn’t anticipate, only to turn those adversities into opportunities. Joseph’s treatment of his brothers may have seemed odd, but the inconveniences he took them through, was to bring them back to him.
Joseph’s brothers had abandoned him; but Joseph wanted reconciliation. Judah, the elder brother of Joseph, was the sibling who led the conspiracy to “cover up the crime” of kidnapping Joseph and selling him into slavery (cf. Genesis 37:27-28, NLT). However, 22 years later, unbeknown to Judah he was passionately pleading to the Egyptian official (who was Joseph, although he was not aware that this was the brother he had betrayed). Judah did not want the Egyptian official to restrain Benjamin for fear that his remand in an Egyptian prison would kill their elderly father, Jacob. Judah then offered to remain in Egypt as a slave to the Egyptian official (Joseph), rather than cause anguish to their frail father (cf. Genesis 44:33-34, NLT). The entire trying ordeal was God’s plan for bringing the family back together!
God’s Reconciling Love – When God is involved in our lives, He often will work through adverse circumstances to help us reconcile difficulties. In the ethical teachings of Jesus believers are instructed, when offended by someone else, seek reconciliation with the person in a direct and loving manner (cf. Matthew 18:15, NLT). Joseph’s direct attempt at reconciliation with his brothers was an example of what would be commanded later in the Law. Moses instructed the Israelites: “Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives. Confront people directly so you will not be held guilty for their sin.” The early Christian community was admonished to “gently and humbly” restore others who have taken the wrong path (cf. Galatians 6:1-2, NLT). When Judah made his passionate plea to Joseph about sparing their young brother, and his aging father, Joseph was overcome with grief. Joseph was now able to release the hurt and pain he had carried for 22 years in Egypt (cf. Genesis 45:1-3, NLT).
The reconciliation that God causes, can induce healing tears. In the devotional book, You’ll Get Through This, author Max Lucado describes Joseph’s reconciling moment: “Joseph could not restrain himself…He wailed. The cries echoed in the palace hallways, cathartic moans of a man in a moment of deep healing. Twenty-two years of tears and trickery had come to an end. Anger and love had dueled it out. Love had won.” Joseph did not shy away from his brothers, but insisted they come closer as he revealed himself to them. Joseph shrunk the physical distance between them, as he sought to eliminate the emotional distance. Joseph told the frightened men “who” he really was: their brother, Joseph! He told his brothers that coming to Egypt was part of God’s plan for them and for him (cf. Genesis 45:4-5;8, NLT). There is hardly an occasion that we’re mistreated, when the persons who caused the offense are not emotionally challenged. God can work through every crisis we face, and use the pain and anguish to bring us to a place He has destined for us. When God “sends” us on our journey, He will always protect us. He will never forsake nor abandon us. Difficult as it may seem, God’s plan is to reconcile us to Him and others through His love!
What We Believe
Every experience in life, is God reconciling us to Himself.
1. God’s purpose for us will always be revealed!
2. God will keep and shield us in the midst of our crises!
Ephesians 1:10-11b, NLT
“And this is the plan: At the right time He will bring every-thing together under the authority of Christ – everything in heaven and on earth...For He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan.”
Proverbs 19:21, NLT
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”
Ps. 105:16-17; 19-21, NLT
“He [God] called for a famine on the land of Canaan, cutting off its food supply. Then He sent someone to Egypt ahead of them – Joseph, who was sold as a slave… Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character. Then Pharaoh sent for him and set him free; the ruler of the nation opened his prison door. Joseph was put in charge of all the king’s household; he became the ruler over all the king’s possessions.”
Genesis 44:33-34, NLT
“So please, my lord, let me stay here as a slave instead of the boy [Benjamin], and let the boy return with his brothers. For how can I return to my father if the boy is not with me? I couldn’t bear to see the anguish this would cause my father!”
Matthew 18:15, NLT
“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.”
Galatians 6:1-2, NLT
“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.”
Genesis 45:1-3, NLT
“Joseph could stand it no longer. There were many people in the room, and he said to his attendants, “Out, all of you!” So he was alone with his brothers when he told them who he was. Then he broke down and wept so loudly the Egyptians could hear him, and word of it quickly carried to Pharaoh’s palace. “I am Joseph!” he said to his brothers. “Is my father still alive?” but his brothers were speechless. They were stunned to realize that Joseph was standing in front of them.
Genesis 45:4-5; 8, NLT
“Please come closer,” he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph your brother whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. “So it was God who sent me here, not you. And He is the one who made me advisor to Pharaoh –the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.”