Faithlife Sermons

Letting GOD Shift My Perspective

The Pursuit of Revival  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Studies and doctors have revealed that it is import
Just a few years prior to these verses, Joseph was in jail in Egypt. Then he experienced a sudden release because of God’s spirit in him to interpret dreams. The king or pharaoh of Egypt had a dream he couldn’t figure out, and Joseph already having exercised his gift in jail, was called in to interpret his dream. The interpretation was to the point, there are 7 years of an abundance in food coming, but it will be followed by 7 years of severe famine which will overtake those years of abundance. Through the wisdom GOD gave to Joseph, he proposed the pharaoh appoint a wise person to store up in abundance to provide for the years of famine. The pharaoh and his servants couldn’t think of anybody wiser than Joseph and who had God’s spirit in them. As a result Joseph was appointed 2nd in charge over all of Egypt, and given all signatures of authority. He was also given a wife who was an Egyptian. And then Joseph went right to work as he was appointed.
Verse 50-52 is an intermediate narrative of Joseph’s personal life to enhance this overall history which Moses records. The intention is to highlight personal events that took place before the extreme state of famine or starvation occurred throughout the land. The events are the birth of Joseph’s sons. Furthermore it highlights what names Joseph gave his sons. Usually the mother played the primary role in naming the children, but in this case, Joseph takes full ownership in naming his sons. When he does this, we will see the shift of perspective Joseph had about his life experiences.
Application: GOD will bring us to certain experiences to help us re-frame our minds concerning our lives.
I Can See What I Should Forget
All of this occurred while Joseph was between the ages of 30 and 37. When his first son was born to him, he took a minute to survey everything GOD had done in his life, and the first word that came to his mind was “Forget”. Well why is this word so impressed on Joseph’s mind? It is because realizes and credits GOD for causing him to forget. Not just having a forgetful mind, as in loss of memory altogether. But the idea here is GOD causing him to no longer recall, regard, or dwell on a particular thing in the way had done previously. For there is no reason for forget to be so important if one had not previously strongly harbored and recalled thoughts about something.
All My Past Troubles
Well when it comes to forgetting, there are two objects that are most crucial in Joseph’s mind. The first is “all of his trouble”. Trouble being exactly what sounds, but more specifically it is cause of distress. But note that Joseph says “all”, meaning he’s not only referring to one trouble, but many. At 17 years old, he was assaulted, abused, and abducted away to Egypt. In his mid-20’s he was lied on resulting in an unjust imprisonment. At 28 years old, he was sadly forgotten about which prolonged his imprisonment. A troubled and traumatic life. But now, through much patience and waiting on God’s help, he no longer dwells or harbors or complains about the trouble he has experienced. He has reached the turning point of how he views his life, and it is all about forgetting. So when he names his son, he will be a reminder of what GOD has done.
Application: If we were all honest, we would admit that we’ve all experienced some troubles in our lives. Some of us have suffered abuse as a child, just like Joseph. Treated unjustly over and over again. Treated as if we are unworthy of attention or respect. And the list goes on and on. And some of those past experiences run so deep, that we at times don’t even recognize that our responses to life stem directly from those experiences. So we end up wearing and looking like the years and years of painful trouble we’ve dealt with. Even Joseph when he was still in prison Gen 40:15, says he was stolen and should not be in prison. We too at times dwell on our past troubles through our complaints about where we are. But today’s encouragement is that you don’t have to dwell on your troubles. In Christ, we have been given a hope, that says all things have become new. We like Joseph have to look back and firmly recognize that GOD has been with us every step of the way. When we do that, the trouble that we’ve experienced begins to shift to the background of our minds and not the leading thought. It’s not that it didn’t happen, or that it is completely lost, it’s that GOD, through what he purposes in our lives for today, can cause us to no longer regard those troubles like we previously did.
The Source of My Past Troubles
Not only the troubles themselves, but Joseph adds another object of what GOD has caused him to forget. He says all of his father’s household. On one hand it could relate to the joys and comforts of being with his father Jacob, which he longed for. But it more relates to the fact that he saw his brother’s as the source or beginning of 13 years a troubled life. Because of their jealousy of their father spoiling him and the dreams he had of him being above them, they were responsible for his assault, abuse, and abduction, which cascaded a life full of miserable events. But when Joseph looks at where GOD has him now, the new life he has brought him to, he no longer dwells or longs for his family.
Application: See not only do we at times harbor our troubles, we too must consider who cause us that trouble. Some of the abuse and harm came from siblings, dysfunctional families, imbalanced parents, childhood friends, strangers, and coworkers. And when we dwell on them, we can blame them for not being where we wanted to be or thought we should be. We can reach a point and don’t realize it where we’re reliving what those people did. Or what someone does today can bring flashbacks of that person or those people, and we live like we’re trying to undo what was done to us. But when GOD brings us revival, he gives us a new life and purpose. He intends for us to see that where we are is what he allowed, and not live by what folk did or didn’t do that brought me harm. But recognized that it’s by his purpose that we are where we are. And it is through living for what God purposes today that he causes us to no longer dwell on who caused me trouble in the past.
I Can See My Fruitfulness
Even in Barren Pastures
GOD is a great GOD. So a span of at least 9 months pass, and Joseph is given another son. He had been fully carrying out the administration from Pharaoh and the calling on his life. And this time, he took a moment to survey his life once more. And he looked at his wife, his son Manasseh, his immediate promotion from incarceration, and the work he was doing in gathering the grain. And the word that came to his mind was “Fruitful”. That being prosperity or flourishing, able to produce new crops, or in general something new. It also connotes double fruitfulness, which reflects the blessing of two sons. But what makes his perspective of fertile most interesting is the pasture the he sees it in. Pasture is land covered with grass suitable for animals to graze. Metaphorically, it describes the situation of a person’s life. Joseph says GOD has made him productive and blessed in the pasture that has oppressed him.
Application: GOD can bless us in the same land we were afflicted. We can look at where we are and it can be loathsome to us because this is the place that I’ve experience so much mess. But when we reach this necessary shift in perspective, we will have a brand new appreciation for God’s blessings in our lives. We’ll recognize how GOD has been working in our lives all along. Joseph brought to Egypt, GOD was with him, Potiphar put him in charge. Put in jail, GOD was with him, Jailer put him in charge. GOD was with him, he interprets dreams. At the right time, Pharaoh dreamed, he interprets his, he put him in charge. It wasn’t just the last event, he had a brand new appreciation for how GOD had been blessing his life all along. And we too, in our pursuit of revival, it will include a new perspective how much God has been blessing us, even in places we didn’t like or expect to be in.
When GOD shifts our perspective, we will have a new outlook on our entire lives. It will teach us what not to regard and what to regard and in what manner. So that when future trouble comes, we don’t show up like our past, but we show up according to our new mind, new perspective that GOD has brought us to.
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