Faithlife Sermons

Running with the Giants - Joseph

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Hebrews 12:1 NIV
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
Joseph
The story about Joseph takes up almost half of the book of Genesis.
tell the story about the rivalry and the dream.
His life actually took a turn he did not ever imagine ir see coming for about 23 years.
This message is for you ...

When Life isn’t turning out the way you planned…

You may have seen your life going a certain way. You may have had a relationship that you though would last, but didn’t. You may have seen your career going a different way. You may have seen your family looking different at this point in life.
If Joesph could talk to you, he would say...

Don’t give up on your dreams

Key - Don’t give up...
We all have moments where we feel like giving up, but Joseph would say, don’t give up.
Genesis 37:5–7 NIV
5 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
Genesis 37:19–20 NIV
19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”
Here is a guy who actually heard from God but whose life went totally different from what he thought for more than 23 years.
Joseph earned the right to jump out of the crowd to talk to us. He has earned the right to say, I know what you are going through.
This is a serious message because many of us, at different times find our selves in the dangerous place of wanting to give up.

DON’T GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS...

1. Even if you didn’t start off well.

Some of us didn’t start well and we are still seeing our lives through the rear view mirror. God has forgiven you and changed you but you are still defining who you are by your past. God doesn’t remember your sins anymore. But you and I have an accuser, the devil and his job is to accuse you. He will constantly remind you of your yesterday even though God has forgotten it. A lot of people give up the journey at this point. We think that we are just too messed up for God to ...
Joke - Parrot… hey, you the ugliest think I’ve ever seen… a month later.... you know what..
This is what the devil does. He constantly saying… You know what...
Look at Paul. He was ordering the murder of Christians before God forgave him and changed him.
1 Timothy 1:12–13 NIV
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.
Don’t give up even if you didn’t start well.

2. Even if those closest don’t support you.

If you are getting negative feedback or rejection from people close to you. Some of you are exhausted because of the rejection in your life. We often get discouraged because of rejection in our lives.
Even Jesus experienced this…
Mark 6:3–4 NIV
3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.”
This is the town where Jesus grew up in and it was in this town that he did very few miracles. It’s one thing to be rejected but another to be hated.
The stories of Joseph all sound so Sunday school neat, but we are talking about Human Trafficking. He was put into slavery by his pwn family.

3. Even of your journey is full of surprises.

When you get a vision from God, it will never go the way you think it should have. It never goes in a straight line.
Here are some of the events of his life after God gave him his dream. (11)

Misunderstood by his family.

Sold into slavery to Potiphar

Lived in a strange country far from home.

Given favor in Potiphar’s house

Falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife

Thrown into prison.

Put in charge of all the prisoners

Forgotten by the Chief cup bearer.

Remained in prison 2 more years.

Interpreted Pharaoh’s dream.

Became second in command in Egypt.

go through the list and have people respond to give up or go on after each....
Here is the point. Your life is going to look the same.
The question is what are you going to do in that moment?
How do we keep going? The same way Joseph did. He relied on God being with hi and giving him favor. Lookat at this.
Romans 8:28 NIV84
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
When our eyes are fixed in the right place, we can keep going.

4. Even if it takes a long time to realize it.

It took 23 years to get to this point. He was in prison more than 2 years.
Here he is in Pharaoh’s court and he interprets the dream and everything happens the way he said and he saved the day… he was the hero of Egypt.
That’s the fun part of the story, but what do you do in the middle when you are cleaning up the slop?
Habakkuk 2:3 The Living Bible
3 But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!
If it seems slow, don’t give up… just be patient. God is always working patience in our lives because He is more interested in our character than our comfort.

FINAL WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT

Focus on what happens in you and not to you.

Since God is working in you, you have a role of how fast this goes. Instead of praying for God to make this goe away, ask what are you teaching me. What do you want me to learn. When we learn it, we get to move on.
1 Peter 1:6–7 NLT
6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
James 1:2–3 NIV84
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
It’s so easy to get mad and blame other people… but we need to focus on what God is teaching us.

Your response to offense determines your future.

Joesph has the chance to get revenge on his brothers. They did not know who he was, but he knew them. He could have wiped them out. But he didn’t.
This is where a lot of us get derailed. We hold into resentment and it will destroy your dreams. It’s not work it. Travel light. Get rid of that offense.
Joseph revealed who he was and the first thing they said was… don’t kill us. Here is his response.
Genesis 50:20–21 NIV84
20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
Joseph wanted to take them out but he realized that God used for good.

Every dream has tough times, but remember God is always with you.

You will not always feel this but he is with you. He is there.
Psalm 139:8–10 NIV84
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
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Psalm 46:1 NIV
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Isaiah 43:2 NIV
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
Jeremiah 1:8 NIV
8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 1:19 NIV
19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
Matthew 28:20 NIV
20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
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