Join us this Sunday! In-Person 9:00am & 10:45am, Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

Join us this Sunday! In-Person 9:00am & 10:45am, Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

Join us at the next Sunday worship service:
In-Person
9:00am & 10:45am,
Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

ARE CHALLENGES THE BEST WAY TO CHANGE?

“Sometimes the worst conditions can often provide the best atmosphere to act in faith. God doesn’t want our confidence regulated by our audience. If faith-discouragers can shake our confidence badly enough to disable us, our confidence may be in ourselves instead of God.” — Beth Moore

Sometime in our lives, we will experience challenges. Those challenges can be found in virtually every aspect of life. Maybe you haven’t been hit by “hard times” but you are overwhelmed by all the small things going wrong in your life. Maybe you have too many balls in the air, and the little things at work and at home with the kids have you flustered and overwhelmed. Learning how to see those challenges as a conduit for change is not a statement; it is an exercise. It is a faith-stretching exercise, one that is all about perspective. One person in the Bible experienced more than his fair share of challenges in life only to find out that those challenges moved him forward in ways he could not have imagined.

Joseph (Genesis 37-50) was plucked from his family life, sold as a slave, and lived his life as a prisoner for many years. Not one of those is a trivial challenge. If your siblings sold you as a slave out of family life where you were the favorite child, you would be angry and bitter. He became a slave to Potiphar, Pharaoh’s Captain of the Guard, a man who was a high-ranking official in Egypt. But Potiphar grew to like the young slave. In fact, the more supervision and responsibility he delegated to Joseph, the more the Lord blessed his servant, so Potiphar was also blessed. Joseph became Potiphar’s administrative assistant with full charge of every facet of his enterprises. But Potiphar’s wife propositioned him. Joseph said no repeatedly. So the angry, spurned wife accused Joseph of attempted rape, and into prison he goes. Another challenge. He is soon running the prison and interprets a dream for the King’s cupbearer and baker, asking that they remember him when they are released. They forget him until Pharaoh has a dream, and Joseph interprets it. Pharaoh was so impressed with Joseph that he became prime minister of Egypt.   

Joseph forgave without knowing if there would ever be reconciliation. He accepted that the trials, setbacks, and challenges he went through were all part of God’s plan for refining him to be the leader he needed to be. The same is true of each one of us. That perspective is difficult to buy into because the thought of accepting pain, betrayal, and difficulty doesn’t sound all that appealing.

It often takes a few challenges and detours in the Christian life before we begin to catch on and learn to trust God for a positive outcome. Let Joseph’s story inspire you as an example of what God can do when you surrender your will to His in times of frustration and disappointment. God loves us. He does not and will not give us trials or challenges without intention. He loves us enough to refine us for the perfect plan that He has for us.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How would going from chosen son to slave affect your faith in God and dreams?
  2. How does the story of Joseph change how you look at challenges?  

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