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WOFCF Bible Explosion - 2/1/17

                                                                                                                          Feb 1, 2017
                                                                                                                                                                WOFCF Bible Explosion
 
Dealing with Adversity Series (Lessons from Joseph)    
(Gen 50:20) “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”
 
There are many lessons that can be learned from looking at the lives of various biblical characters. Let’s look again and learn a lesson of how to deal with adversity. When we think of a biblical character that was faced with adversity, we often think of Job. He definitely was hit with much adversity, but for our study tonight, we want to consider Joseph. Adversity is a general term that includes trouble, affliction, opposition, pressure, chastening, anguish, testing, or tribulation that is greater than our ability to resolve. When adversity comes to us we often think, "What have I done wrong?" "Why is God punishing me?" But this is wrong thinking! Adversity can be our greatest motivation for spiritual growth or our deadliest means of discouragement. The difference depends upon our understanding of God's purposes through adversity.
 
Point #1 Sorrow
 
A. Joseph's initial reaction was one of sorrow.
1. From his brother's own lips we hear of his anguish (suffering/torment/torture).
2. Can you imagine what he must have thought when they were lifting him up from the pit?
3. His heart was no doubt filled with relief, thinking that his brothers had just played a trick on  
him.
4. What must he have thought when he realized that he was rescued from the pit only to be sold
into slavery and carried away?
5. Perhaps he spent several nights weeping over his situation.
 
B. Sorrow is natural.
1. Jesus wept at the graveside of Lazarus.
2. The pallbearers made 'great lamentation' as they carried Stephen to his grave. (Acts 8:2)
3. The Bible tells of how the widows cried aloud in their grief over Dorcas' death in. (Acts 9:39)
4. Sorrow and grief over adversity in our lives is a normal reaction, but it must give way to 
acceptance of God's plan.
 
Point #2 Acceptance of God’s Plan
 
A. God is sovereign.
(1 Cor 6:20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
1. What does that mean to us?
2. It should mean that we understand that He can do anything He chooses to do with us…
3. We are a purchased possession…do we have a right to question Him?
4. This is not resignation…or giving up; this is accepting that God has a plan for my life and He  
would never allow anything in my life that is not for His good.
5. Many folks misunderstand Romans 8:28. “And we know that all things work together for good
to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
 
 
 
B. God has a purpose for us.
1. Life is not just a collection of unrelated events.
2. Sometimes we think that our lives are like the pinball that bounces from one bumper to the
other until it drops out of play.
3. But God has assured us that He has a purpose for each of us.
4. That purpose is good, because God is good.
5. Joseph came to accept the God was in charge in his life, and when we do the same it will make
all the difference in the world!
 
C. Reject the sin of bitterness toward God.
1. Someone has said that trials will either make us better or make us bitter.
2. Again the difference is our view of God.
3. God is a good God…He is righteous…He is not arbitrary…He is not the author of confusion.
4. He warns us of allowing bitterness to enter into our lives in the wake of adversity.
(Eph 4:31-32) “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put
away from you, with all malice: {32} And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one
another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”
(Heb 12:14-15) “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the
Lord: {15} Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness
springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled”

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