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Mar 19, 2023

Trouble with Trouble Part 2

Trouble with Trouble Part 2

Speaker: Dennis Gallaher

Category: Sunday Morning

What can God do with our trouble?

There is not a hero in the Bible whose life story is not highlighted with trouble. Consider Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (fiery furnace), David (Goliath), Daniel (a lion's den), Paul (Philippian jail), Stephen (stoning), Moses (Red Sea), Jonah (whale)... and more... all the way to the cross (Golgatha).

Peter writes these words to the church, 1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though something strange were happening to you. God desires to use trouble as the first ingredient of mature faith. James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Trials cause endurance but we spend most of our time trying to avoid trouble and get out of it. But God has a great purpose in difficulties and trials. 

Take time to read the fascinating story in Genesis 37-50. This story of Joseph demonstrates Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. God will take all the messy material in our lives and cause it to work for good. As the one who created light and life, He will cause all things to work for good in our lives.

Do you love God? Do you desire to know Him and serve Him? Did He call you out of guilt or hopeless living, out of a life of sin? Take heart, God's plan is to take whatever we offer to Him, even sin and failure, and use it for good. Are you wondering if God has abandoned you? Do you think you have disqualified yourself? Lay it before God to let Him work for His glory. 

There was a lot of disfunction in Joseph's family. Genesis 37:2-4 These are the records of the generations of Jacob. Joseph, when he was seventeen years of age, was pasturing the flock with his brothers, while he was still a youth, along with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his other sons, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a multi-colored tunic. And his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers; and so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms.

Jacob, Joseph's father, presented him with a coat of many colors - something that authority would wear, not workers. The colors representing nobility. This enraged his older brothers. Joseph then had dreams that his brothers and his father would bow down to him. His brothers hated him for the dreams and Joseph's words. As Joseph was sent out to see about his brothers, Joseph's real trouble began. 

Genesis 37:19 They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer!  37:23-25 So it came about, when Joseph reached his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the multicolored tunic that was on him; and they took him and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, without any water in it. Then they sat down to eat a meal. But as they raised their eyes and looked, behold, a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying labdanum resin, balsam, and myrrh, on their way to bring them down to Egypt.

Lesson #1: The war is always about stopping the move of God through His servants. The war is not between us and another. The war is always an enemy trying to stop the move of God in our lives. If he is able, then the move of God stops in our families, in our generation, or even in our churches. God's ways are always about moving His purpose forward. It's the principle of the cross - life comes out of death. When we give our lives to Jesus, the enemy wants to stop the life of the cross and the Word of God going forth in each one of us.

John 12:20-26 Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast; these people then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and were making a request of him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip came and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip came and told Jesus. But Jesus answered them by saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. The one who loves his life loses it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

  • We give God our sorrows; He gives us joy.
  • We give God our fears: He give us peace.
  • We give God our losses; He gives us gains.
  • We give God our sins; He gives us His righteousness.

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Do you have a flesh and blood struggle right now? Recognize that the enemy wants to stop the Word of God in our lives. Give it to the Lord; sanctify your struggle; set it apart for His glory. 

Genesis 39:1-3 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there. And the Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. Now his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all that he did prosper in his hand.

Joseph ended up being sold to traders and then to Potiphar in Egypt. A phrase that travels with Joseph:

  • The Lord was with him.
  • His master saw that the Lord was with him.
  • You are mine.

Lesson #2: You are not your own; You were bought with a price. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought for a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

If we've given our lives to Jesus, He promises to use our lives for His glory. He will use us in ways we never thought. Stay faithful and recognize the Lord is with us. Joseph was forgotten by everyone except for God. Yet, he never lost his gifting, his calling, his courage, or his identity. Thirteen years of slavery and prison and in a few hours, he goes from being a slave to being second in command of Egypt.

Are you in a place that feels like a dungeon? a place where you are despised? Isaiah 21:11-12 ...One keeps calling to me from Seir, “Watchman, how far gone is the night? Watchman, how far gone is the night?” The watchman says, “Morning comes...” It doesn't matter how dark our night, or how deep the pit, we can know for sure that morning will come. God will always bring light to a dark situation. 

After 400 years of silence, Jesus came and was called the Light of the World. Then He tells us that we are the light of the world and we are not to hide that light so that people are drawn to Jesus. We have the promise that our dark night will end. We have the Word of God and testimonies of the greats that have gone before us. Stay faithful.

Where do find your story in Joseph's story? Is your dungeon of your own making? Jesus came to set the captives free - that means all of our situations. Jesus came to seek out and to save that which was lost. He desires to set us free. God wants to set us free. Psalm 105:17-18 He sent a man before them: Joseph was sold for a bondman. They afflicted his feet with fetters; his soul came into irons. God wants to use our struggles to strengthen us... until morning comes. Job 23:10 But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Sanctify your troubles. Claim Romans 8:28 and watch as God causes all things to work together.