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Broken To Beauty

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

 

Where in the Bible does it say that you will not live a hard life because you are a Christian? If you can find one please let me know and I will stop right now, but no such verse exists. However there are plenty of verses that PROMISE hard times and persecution. I find it interesting that people often thing that walking with Christ is easy and it won’t hurt you. It actually may bring about some of the worst times in your life, and it may cause your life to fall apart!!! I’m just being truthful, there is no reason to sugar coat anything.

It’s important to look at the bigger picture, as humans we tend to only look at the small picture that only has us in it. God however has the entire picture and He can see all. That’s why it is critical to understand that God has his way and its undeniably good.

So if the Christian life is full of persecution and hurt why should I even be remotely interested in following Christ?

Well, the Christian life may be full of persecution but that doesn’t mean that your entire life is going to be full of hurt, and I can guarantee that, because if we have God and His Joy fills us, we are able to see the greater out of the bad situations.

Now I really want to dive into the story of Paul because I think that we overlook His backstory a lot of the time, we don’t realize how God took a horrible and dreadful man, turned Him into one of the most famous apostles and author of almost half of the New Testament.

Lets take a look at some passages, and yes I understand that they are long, but it is important to understand the entirety of Paul’s story and conversion.

 

ACTS 9:1-19

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord,” he answered.

11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”

13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”

15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

 

This is the first passage, and it is the beginning of this awesome story, for before this point in time he was broken!

  1. God can still use you, no matter what your situation is!

I think that we tend to box God up, we say:

“You can’t possibly use me, I’m to much of a mess!”

When you say things like this you are doing nothing more than lying to yourself! Our minds cant seem to wrap around the power and awesomeness of Gods power, so we seem to try and make Him so much smaller than He actually is.

2. Don’t put God in a box, There is no Box Big enough to put God in!

So back to the passage, It starts of with Saul (Paul), on His way to go and capture Jews and take them captive for worshiping God. he was someone who persecuted the heck out of Jews and Gentiles. He truly hated Jews and wanted to hurt them, but then He has this revelation on the road to Damascus, and ever since that point in time He dedicated His life to working for Gods glory!!

God can take any situation and make it beautiful, whether, you are someone who persecutes Christians or If you are someone who’s life seems so out of place that it seems nothing can put it back together. Well I have good news, God plans to use you for awesome things, so look to God and get ready to do awesome things.

Genesis 37:23-28

So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it. And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked, and there was a company of Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry them down to Egypt. So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.” And his brothers listened. Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.

 

So here is a quick excerpt from the story of joseph, and if you are not familiar with this story, basically, Joseph was His dads favorite and the other sons got extremely jealous. So they planned to kill him, but they also wanted to make a quick buck so they sold him to some men passing by for a quick buck.

 

LOOK AT THIS STORY, joseph was sold to a bunch of men that he didn’t know, going to a foreign land, and lost his entire family. If you ask me his life was pretty messed up and broken.

Well lets jump a little bit ahead.

Let me fill in the middle gap for you though.

So after he was sold by his own family, he ends up in an Egyptian jail, SO NOW HIS LIFE HAS GONE FROM BAD TO WORSE. The thing that we need o remember is that Joseph has the Lord, and people knew that the Lord was with Him.

So now He is in jail, however he finds favor with the warden, and the warden starts to trust him, because of the fact that the Lord was with him.

Well the bakers for the King end up getting thrown into jail along with Joseph, and they have a dream, well Joseph is able to interpret it (only with the Power of God), Word comes to the pharaoh that Joseph can interpret dreams so he calls for Him at once!

This is huge and we pick up our story here.

 

Genesis 41:14-36

Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they quickly brought him out of the pit. And when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh. 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”[a] 17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Behold, in my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile. 18 Seven cows, plump and attractive, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. 19 Seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I had never seen in all the land of Egypt. 20 And the thin, ugly cows ate up the first seven plump cows, 21 but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were still as ugly as at the beginning. Then I awoke. 22 I also saw in my dream seven ears growing on one stalk, full and good. 23 Seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them, 24 and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. And I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”

25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. 27 The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind are also seven years of famine. 28 It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt, 30 but after them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will consume the land, 31 and the plenty will be unknown in the land by reason of the famine that will follow, for it will be very severe. 32 And the doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about. 33 Now therefore let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land and take one-fifth of the produce of the land[b] of Egypt during the seven plentiful years. 35 And let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 36 That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”

 

So Joseph is able to interpret his dream, and a huge famine is about to hit the land!! Ok so lets recap what we have so far!

  • Joseph is his fathers favorite.
  • His brother get jealous and sell him(instead of killing him)
  • Goes to Jail in Egypt

TURING POINT

  • The Jailer finds favor with Him
  • Word gets out that Joseph can interpret dreams(With the power of God)
  • Pharaoh calls Joseph to interpret His dream
  • The dream meant that a huge famine and drought are about to hit the land for 7 years

 

Okay lets go ahead and take a look at the rest of the story!

Genesis 41: 37-57

This proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?”[c] 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. 40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command.[d] Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck. 43 And he made him ride in his second chariot. And they called out before him, “Bow the knee!”[e] Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-paneah. And he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On. So Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.

46 Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt. 47 During the seven plentiful years the earth produced abundantly, 48 and he gathered up all the food of these seven years, which occurred in the land of Egypt, and put the food in the cities. He put in every city the food from the fields around it. 49 And Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured.

50 Before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph. Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore them to him. 51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.”[f] 52 The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”[g]

53 The seven years of plenty that occurred in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do.”

56 So when the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses[h] and sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57 Moreover, all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth.

 WOW, so God provided for Joseph in so many ways. So Joseph went from:
  • Being hated by his brothers
  • Sold as a slave to people on the side of the road.
  • A prisoner in Egypt’s Dungeon’s
Now at this point a lot of us would just be so devastated and we would not know what to do or where to turn. This is such a great example to turn to because Joseph never took his eyes of God and look at what HAPPENED
  • Gained favor with the jailer
  • Interpreted Pharaohs Dream
  • Saved Egypt by storing food and grain
  • Became one of the most powerful people on the earth

Is that not a perfect picture of God taking something that just seemed so hopeless and turning it completely 180 degrees!!!!

 

AND ITS NOT DONE

HIs brothers who YES SOLD HIM came to him in their time of need during the drought and he what???? What did He do?? Did Joseph have them killed? Did he throw them in jail?? NO HE FORGAVE THEM!!!! After all that joseph had been through, almost His whole life spent in jail or as a slave and it was all because of his brothers. When Joseph has all the power in the world, he had plenty right to throw them in jail. However he shows mercy on them.

That is powerful my friend.

3. The more broke you are,  the more light gets through!

 

Enjoy the video!

-Vic

 

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