Freedom in Action

Freedom in Action

Real Hurts, Real Freedom-Joseph’s Story (Genesis 37-50)

Message #9: Rev. Scott Parker

Genesis 50:22-23 ; 2 Cor. 1:3-4

Series Conclusion

 We are at the conclusion of our Message Series:  Real Hurts, Real Freedom-We’ve been looking at the experience of Joseph, who was betrayed by his brothers as a young man and sold into slavery in Egypt.  Instead of being consumed by bitterness, he is able to trust in God, remain obedient, and God is able to turn his life around and use him to save countless people from famine.

I want us to take a quick look at some of the main ideas we’ve covered

-We WILL experience hurt in this life:  some hurts are unavoidable, b/c we live in a fallen world

-FORGIVENESS is essential to become free of the damage of a past hurt

-We FORGET by refusing to live in the past & focus on the new thing God is doing NOW

-Our freedom & healing will be only to the extent in which God alone is the source, path, and goal of our hearts; we must remain in CONTINUOUS RELATIONSHIP with God

-We must have daily reality checks by replacing false messages with  Biblical TRUTH

-God helps us REFRAME a painful experience by seeing it Through God’s eyes

-Unresolved past sin puts us in bondage; CONFESSION is 1st step toward freedom/forgiveness

-Do not underestimate what God can do through our hurts; “power is perfected in weakness.”

-God’s desire is to TRANSFORM the painful experience and make us fruitful in the midst of it.

 

I love the Psalmist words, “Come and see what the Lord has done.”  I have spoken with many of you and have heard wonderful stories of what the love of God has been doing in the midst of this series.  Many have been able to forgive and release a deep wound they experienced.  Many have been able to experience the light of God enter some very dark places.  For some, this has been only the beginning of a healing journey that will continue for some time.

2 Cor. 1:3-4 (Living Bible)  The Apostle Paul writes

What a wonderful God we have–he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials…

Comfort = paracletos = encouragement, to “come alongside” someone

How has God “come alongside” of you during this message series? 

Has God encouraged or comforted you, begun a healing work in your life? 

Remember: God’s healing work in our hearts is a process, and happens inasmuch  as we invest in a deepening relationship with God.

Over a process of several years, and many hardships, Joseph is finally able to be free of his past wound:

    Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” [52] The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” Genesis 41:51-52

 

“Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.  With bitterness archers attacked him…but his bow remained steady…because of the Almighty, who blesses you…” Genesis 49:22-25

Fruit is the sign and product of a healthy vine or tree, but the benefit is not for the tree itself

Genesis 46: 8-27:  the 70 who go to Egypt and saved from famine:  blessed by God through Joseph’s fruitfulness

 

FRUITFULNESS  means that as God heals and blesses us, we are used by God to pass on that same healing and blessing to others.

 

2 Corinthians 1: 3, 4 in its entirety

What a wonderful God we have–he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials…

“…And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us.”

The healing, transforming work that God does in Joseph’s life has a FRUITFULNESS that blesses lives beyond his own

As God “comes alongside” of us, the transformation and healing of our own lives is intended by God to have an impact beyond our own.

We just saw in Genesis 46 how God’s work in our lives impacts

*Our Families: My Dad-child of divorce/latch key kid back when that was a scandalous thing.  A few years ago my Mom sat me down and told me what he faced as a kid.  And how he was able to raise our family in a radically healthier way than he was raised—and knowing Christ has played a key role in his journey.

–I was blessed by his choice to be a better Dad than he had

–I was blessed b/c the courage he showed in dealing with his wounds rubbed off on me.

          When you decide to seek Jesus’ help in healing from life’s wounds, you are blessing your family in ways unimaginable.

And yet God’s desire is for the influence of that blessing to extend even

          *Beyond our own circles of relationships

Genesis 47:25:  The people of Egypt say to Joseph:  “You have saved our lives,”

All of Egypt has been blessed by the healing work of God in Joseph’s life.  God’s work in the life of one person has blessed countless others.  THAT’S GOD’S INTENT.

If you have experienced God’s work in your life, healing you from a painful divorce-you need to realize that there are countless others who have experienced divorce that God wants to touch in the same way-through you.

-If you were blessed by God through others who met your needs…

-If you have dealt with insecurity—Grace

We cannot underestimate the power of this.  I call it The Ripple Effect

    Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years [23] and saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph’s knees. Genesis 50:22-23

God blesses us, who bless others, who then go on to bless others

 The most beautiful way that God blesses others through our own experiences of brokenness and healing is that it:

* spreads the “Reputation” of God

    So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” Genesis 41:38

            Pharaoh is talking about a guy who was abandoned by his family, grew up as a slave, was framed for assaulting his boss’s wife, thrown into prison for years, and yet when the most powerful man in the world looks him in the eye, and says “wow what a great God you have!” 

It’s an amazing thing when  a person looks at your life and gets a sense of who God is.  That happens most profoundly when God works through the places where we have been broken—and where we are beginning to see God’s love heal that place. 

 

 

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