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Mayhem is Coming!


Joseph must have been reeling after he was stripped of his robe, thrown into a pit (to starve to death), then sold for the price of a crippled slave to Midianite traders headed to Egypt. You can read the details of these events in Genesis 37:12-35. Mayhem didn’t hit Joseph gradually. Within moments he went from being the heir of the family to a slave, escaping with little more than his life. I’ve frequently wondered how Joseph processed these events in light of his coat and his dreams. How do we process mayhem when (not if!) it comes?

Here are the three talking points that I shared last weekend in worship.

1. Suffering is an introduction to exaltation.When adversity meets our ambition it can be difficult to find clarity in the midst of chaos and confusion. But from a 30,000 feet perspective, we can see the adversity we face is used by God to prepare us for something greater. Every signficant biblical character faced adversity which, in turn, developed character and prepared them for even greater assignments. Even Jesus dealt with mayhem during his three year ministry. There was no palace for Joseph without a pit and a prison. There was no crown of glory for Jesus without a cross. If God will permit mayhem to come to us on our way to our holy ambition, then who are we to think we should be exempt?

2. It’s not what happens to me, but what happens in me that counts.God will use adversity to develop character and Christlikeness in our lives. Let me explain. Think about the mayhem in your life. Now think for a moment about your reaction to that adversity. I believe that the reaction that spills out of us when mayhem strikes becomes the very internal issue that God seeks to work on and redeem. Pay attention to your reactions to those inconvenient interruptions, because they are the very places that God desires growth in your life. God will use difficult problems and difficult people to make you more like Christ.

3. Never doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light.All Joseph could see was what Joseph could see. What he couldn’t see was that he was right on schedule in accomplishing his God given dreams. Sometimes when mayhem hits our lives we enter a period of darkness where it is hard to find clarity. In that darkness we can’t see any good or any benefit from our adversity. Worst of all, we are tempted to feel as though God has abandoned us. We feel that because we cannot see God at work, that God is not at work, but nothing is farther from the truth. God was at work even though Joseph couldn’t see it. Remember, at Jesus most desperate moment he cried, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me.” It was at that very moment in time that God was doing his greatest work. Just because you can’t sense God working doesn’t mean He’s not. Don’t doubt it for a moment.

Categories : Adversity, Genesis, Joseph

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