OUR LIFE IS A SERIES OF GOOD
NEWS/BAD NEWS EVENTS
For all of us there WILL be times when everything in our lives is going
smoothly, with no trouble, with no stress, with no heart ache … only
good news. BUT for all of us there WILL also be times when it seems as if
nothing is going right … only bad news.
Today you may be in a time of your life that
· you don't feel good about
· feels as if it's never going to end
· seems like "bad-news-times"
… for example
· unstable relationships
· poor finances
· bad health
· bondages of sin
· maybe you are in some kind of PRISON
· it is not important where your life-story may be today, but how it will
· There is a saying: "all is well that ends well"
· What matters most in any good news/bad news story is it's ending. If it
ends with bad news, all the good that went before will be forgotten; if it
ends with good news, the entire story is remembered as good, and the
previous bad news is seen in a different light. (Do you remember the fairy
tale endings: … and they lived happily ever after?)
JOSEPH'S GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS LIFE STORY
Read in the Bible (Gen 37 to 47) how Joseph's life is a good news/bad news
story that ends in GOOD.
Here is a short summary:
Good news: Joseph is his daddy's favourite.
(Gen 37:3 Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons)
Bad news: His brothers hate him. (Gen 37:3 they hated their brother
so much that they would not speak to him in a friendly manner)
Good news: His daddy gives him a beautiful coat.
Bad news: His brothers rip it off, cover it with blood and sell him
as a slave.
Good news: In Egypt he is sold to Potiphar (who is the captain of
the palace guard; he is wealthy and has a lot of influence). He likes
Joseph very much, makes him his personal slave, puts him in charge of his
household and everything he owns.
Bad news: Potiphar's wife also likes Joseph and thinks him good
looking. She tries to seduce him.
Good news: Joseph says "NO".
Bad news: She's furious. She lies to her husband and Joseph gets
arrested and locked up in prison.
Good news: The jailer is pleased with Joseph, puts him in charge of
all the other prisoners and makes him responsible for everything that is
going on in prison.
More Good news: Joseph meets Pharaoh's personal butler in prison,
interprets his dream that predicts that the butler will get paroled. When
the butler leaves prison he will organize something to help Joseph get out
Bad news: The butler forgets all about Joseph and he stays in
prison for 2 more years.
Good news: The king has a dream; with God's help Joseph is able to
interpret the dream and gives the king wise advice on how to prepare the
country for the coming seven years of famine. The king is impressed, and
appoints Joseph as second in charge of the whole country….
And from here on it is only a story of good news
for Joseph. His family came to Egypt for food when there was no food in
their country, and he was able to help them. As a result he was reconciled
with his father and brothers…… and this story ENDS WELL!!
HOW DO WE REACT DURING "BAD-NEWS-TIMES"?
· our real character starts to show
· we are ready to give up
· we become impatient
· we become depressed
· we feel sorry for ourselves
· we stop eating, or start over eating
· we stay in bed all day with the blanket over our head
· we ignore the people around us
· we become sick
· we loose our energy and our sparkle
· we blame God, we blame our family, we blame our boss ….
· we turn to alcohol
· we turn to bad company
· we do not listen to other people's advice
· we do not think clearly
· we start to tell lies so that we can get out of the situation
HOW DID JOSEPH HANDLE HIS
When he was alone in a foreign country,
separated from his family
· feel sorry for himself
· blame his brothers
· curse and shout at everybody
· see himself as powerless
· give up
· the job that his master gave him to do
· work hard
· the best he could
In the middle of this bad news time we read:
"The Lord was with Joseph and made him successful" (Gen 39:2)
We can believe this: if Jesus is the Lord of your
life, if you have given your heart and your life to HIM, then you can know
that in your most difficult circumstances THE LORD IS WITH YOU! He can and
wants to turn bad news into good news.
With God we are never helpless victims.
When he was standing before temptation
When Potiphar's wife tried to seduce Joseph by
inviting him to go to bed with her, he had to make a decision: will he
give in to her invitation, or will he say NO?
"Although she asked Joseph day after day, he would not go to bed with
her" (Gen 39:10)
· say no every time
· remain committed to his values
· his conscience stayed sharp
· remember God's laws: "How then could I do such an immoral thing
and sin against God?" (Gen 39:9)
· give in to fleshly desires
· take what was given to him on a plate
· use his situation to sin
Will you keep on doing the RIGHT thing - what the
Lord wants from you - even when you are in a bad-news stage of your life?
What temptations are facing you today? Maybe …
· to join in gossip
· to break the rules
· to lie in court
· to engage in relationships that you know are wrong
· to join in with the others in using the Lord's name in vain and cursing
· to doubt that God exists
When he was sent to prison for a crime he did
In the middle of this bad news prison time for
Joseph, the Lord was with him and blessed him:
39:21"But the Lord was with Joseph and blessed
him, so that the jailer was pleased with him. He put Joseph in charge of
the other prisoners and made him responsible for everything that was done
in the prison" (Gen 39:21)
"The Lord was WITH Joseph and made him succeed in everything he
did" (Gen 39:23)
· do the job that was given to him
· do it well as if for the Lord and not for people
· work hard
· find meaning in his life - he had a purpose
· experience God's blessing!
· pull the blanket over his head and sulk about the unfairness of the
· blame God ("Look God, I made the RIGHT choice, and see where it
When a promise was broken
After Joseph helped the king's butler, by interpreting his dream , the
butler promised to put in a good word for Joseph with the king when he was
out on parole…. And he forgot! This meant 2 more years in prison for
· Did someone promise you a visit or help from
outside and then just forgot about it?
· Did someone promise to pay your bail and then they disappeared?
· Did your attorney make a promise about conversion and it was rejected?
· Did the parole board give you another 2 years?
God was not finished in Joseph's life, and that's
the reason why the prison doors didn't open for him at that time. Maybe
God is not finished in your life!
Joseph still had to see the deeper meaning that God
planned for him through this situation - only later on when he was the
highest official of the king and was able to save his family and country
from starvation, did he realize that every detail of his life was planned
by God with a higher purpose:
Now do not be upset or blame yourselves because you sent me here. It was
really GOD who sent me ahead of you to save people's lives. (Gen 45:5)
God sent me ahead of you to rescue you in this amazing way. (Gen 45:7)
So it was not really you who sent me here but God. He has made me the
king's highest official. I am in charge of his whole country; I am the
ruler of all Egypt. (Gen 45:8)
TRUST God that He has a higher plan with your life,
with your BAD NEWS time, with your suffering.
· no bad news can separate you from God
· trust in Jesus - good-news-times will follow after bad-news-times
· nothing happens to you that God doesn't know about and that is not
under His ultimate control.
l remain faithful to God, don't give up. "God will bless you, if you
don't give up when your faith is being tested. He will reward you with a
glorious life". (James 1:12)
It's not about where you are today,
but where you will end …. END WELL!
YOU WON"T STAY ONE MOMENT TOO LONG
"God had sent me to be a witness in this place. There are many people
here who need Jesus. I will be in this prison for exactly the length of
time God has determined. I won't leave one moment too early and I won't
stay one moment too long. When God determines my ministry in prison is
complete, I will come out" ~ From