Joseph Part 1: Having Hope

Joseph Part 1:
Having Hope
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
May 22nd, 2016
Image courtesy of ponsulak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Having Hope
We’ve all heard the story of Joseph and his dream that his brothers would one day bow to him (Genesis 37:1-11). But what can we learn from Joseph and his dream?

1. Joseph Had Hope
A. Against all Odds

Now, Joseph’s dream would have been a pretty wild, hard to believe dream.  In those days, it would have been the oldest brother who would have been first in line for that kind of honor.  If the family was going to bow to anyone, it would have been, Rueben the oldest brother.  And if for whatever, reason, Reuben couldn’t take that position, then it would have fallen next to Simeon, the next oldest brother.

And in all honesty, for that position and honor to get to Joseph, that honor would have to pass through 10 other brother’s before it would get to Joseph.  Needless to say, the likelihood of Joseph’s dream of his brothers bowing to him, was almost nothing.

Secondly, Joseph’s dream seemed to indicate more than just a family honor…more than just Joseph becoming the head of the family and the brother’s “bowing” to him because he became the family patriarch.  This dream seemed to indicate that Joseph would be royalty, which made this dream even more impossible because this family, wasn’t close to royalty.  They had no ties to a king.  They were in the land of Canaan and essentially had no path to royal positions.

What I am trying to say is, that in order for Joseph’s dream to come true so many things would have had to fallen perfectly into place that the likelihood of it coming true would have been virtually impossible.

The odds were stacked against him… But…this dream was from God which makes this dream not only a possibility but a guaranteed probability.

So Joseph, had hope…hope against all odds…because he had a promise from God.

Joseph also had hope …
B. Against all Naysayers

Everyone in his family, who he told this dream to…laughed him off and told him how impossible it was and no one supported Joseph in his dreams.  Now his brother’s I understand…His brothers hated him and probably would have thought, “There is no way, that I will ever bow to you.”

But his dad, Jacob, should have known better.  Jacob had seen, first hand, many miracles of God.  And Joseph, who was loved by Jacob, may have thought dear old dad would have been supportive of his dream…but this is not the case. Instead of supporting his most loved son, and saying, “Well son, with God, anything is possible!”

his father rebuked him. “What kind of dream is this that you have had?” he said. “Are your mother and brothers and I going to come and bow down to the ground before you?” Genesis 37:10

But again, Joseph’s dream was from God, so Joseph had hope against the neysayers…

So how does this apply to us?

2. We Can Have Hope
A. Against all Odds (for God’s promises in our lives)

First of all odds aren’t really odds if you know the outcome.  If you watch a football game that happened a year ago, no matter how many times you watch it, and no matter what the odds are that one team should be the other…the outcome is still the outcome.  The odds don’t change what happened.  And if you were to bet on that game, knowing what the outcome was going to be, you would win 100% of the time.

And for us, God knows what’s going to happen.  He already knows the outcome, so when He gives us a promise or dream, it is a sure thing, no matter how badly the odds are stacked against us, because He already knows how it is going to play out.

Secondly, odds aren’t odds when God is involved.  When God makes a promise it is a promise not an odd.  It is 100% likely to happen if God has promised it.  Actually, it is not likely that it will happen, it is a fact that it will happen.

But here is the thing…
From the world’s perspective and perhaps from even your own perspective, the odds that God’s promise will come true may seem to be stacked against you and may even seem impossible.

You may be the youngest…
You may be the brokest…
You may be the oldest…

But God, still has a plan. And if God still has a plan, then those odds, mean nothing…

The fact that you are just entering High School means nothing,
The fact that your grades aren’t great mean nothing….
The fact that you are going through bankruptcy means nothing,
The fact that you have no money means nothing,
The fact that you have no education, means nothing,
The fact that you have a criminal record means nothing…

All of these odds that are stacked against you mean nothing, when God has a promise…

The fact that Abraham and Sarah were too old to have kids, meant nothing…
The fact that Jacob was born second meant nothing,
The fact that Joseph was the youngest brother meant nothing,
The fact that Moses stuttered meant nothing…
The fact that Gideon didn’t have enough men meant nothing…
The fact that David was just a boy fighting a giant meant nothing…
The fact that Paul helped persecute Christians meant nothing…
The fact that Jesus was born to a poor family, in a barn meant for animals, meant nothing…

All of the odds that were stacked against these people, meant nothing when God has a plan…And God’s plan for you means everything!

So first of all, we can have hope against all odds, when God is involved.

We Can Have Hope
B. Against the Naysayers…

We can have hope, when the rest of the world has no hope for us…
We can have hope, when people tell us how hard it going to be…
We can have hope, when people who should know better, tell us it’s impossible…
We can have hope, when people who should support us, chose, instead, to tear us down…

And here is why we can have hope…God is in control…not the people…not the naysayers.  So we can have hope against all odds… And we can have hope against the world…

So, as you go through life, when the world tries to squash your hopes and dreams and it seems nothing is going your way…

Have hope! Have dreams! And let God’s promises put that sparkle of hope back in your eyes.  Because at the end of the day…

Genesis 42:6
Joseph was in charge of the country; he sold grain to all its people. His brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the ground.

God delivered…it wasn’t easy road, Joseph didn’t have a lot of support, it got darker before it got brighter…but God Delivered, NEVER let your Godly Dreams and hopes die.

Is it time that you renew your hope in God’s promises for your life?


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