Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright.
Love that all comes together in the nature of his being to be at work in the circumstances of our lives in ways that we may not see or recognize till later, and maybe some of which we don't see till heaven, but to do so in order to bring about your good and His glory. Providence. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light.
I'm Daniel Britt. Excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series called Providence, as presented at Granola Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout today's entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries.
So, as you listen to today's message, go deeper in your study as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org. Or call 877-544-4860.
877-544-4860. More on that later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.
Here is Alan Wright. Okay, beloved, are you ready for some good news? We learned last time that God is providential in that sometimes when our circumstances seem the worst, God's actually up to doing something that's the best. But today we go a step further into the mystery. And the good news is that God can not only take bad circumstances and work them for your good, but He is so good, so wise, so strong, so sovereign, so beautiful, so inclined to be benevolent towards you that God can actually use the sin, even the sin that was against you for your good and His glory. And if you get hold of this, just take your life to a whole new place of joy and freedom.
I can't wait to tell you about it. It's Joseph's story. We were in Joseph's story in part last week, and we continue today. And I want to just jump to the end of this story where Joseph has been reunited with his brothers, the ones who hated him and were going to kill him, who sold him into slavery and the reason he was in Egypt, because they had trafficked him. They had sold him. And he'd been falsely accused, wrongly imprisoned, and then promoted in Egypt because of the wisdom of God that was evident in his life. And his brothers didn't know that it was him.
We're going to see that story today. But after their reunion, at the very end, when the brothers continue to be afraid that Joseph, it just seemed too good to be true that Joseph wasn't harming them. And so they're afraid again after their father's death that Joseph is going to have it in for them. And here's our verses, verses 19 and 20 of Genesis 50, last chapter of Genesis, verses 19 and 20. But Joseph said to them, Do not fear, for am I in the place of God?
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive as they are today. Many years ago, Tony Campolo, author, communicator, a great preacher and storyteller, if you ever heard Tony Campolo preach, fun, something else. But he always lived a living life to the full. And he was preaching at a Pentecostal church in Pennsylvania. And before the service, they gathered around him and were laying hands on him to pray for him. And they were just praying and, you know, blessing him and praying for the anointing of the Holy Spirit on him before he preached and all. And then one of the elders started just praying something that wasn't related at all to that night's meeting or related to Tony.
They just launched off down this rabbit trail and said, And Lord, please do something about my neighbor, Charlie. You know him, Lord. Charlie Stoltzfus. And Tony's like, you know, he's bowing there, they're laying hands on him. He's like, well, we're praying for Charlie Stoltzfus. And he said, Lord, you know, Charlie, he told me this week that he's going to leave his wife and two children.
And Lord, don't let him do that. He said, do something. Visit him, Lord. You know where he lives?
Down the street here in the silver trailer, just about a quarter mile down on the right on such and such street. Tony said he thought about standing up and saying, The Lord doesn't need directions, but he prayed like this for a while. And Tony preached and he got in his car to go home. And as he got on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, this is years ago, people are still hitchhiking. There's a guy out there hitchhiking. Well, Tony Campolo was like this.
I pick up hitchhikers. He picked him up and as they start riding along, Tony says, I'm Tony Campolo. They said, what's your name? He said, Charlie Stoltzfus. Tony said he didn't say anything. He just pulled off of the road and turned around, started coming back.
And Charlie's bewildered. He said, where are you taking me? Tony just looked and said, home. He said, why? He said, because you're leaving your wife and two kids today, aren't you? His eyes were big as saucers. He just grew quiet and Tony kept driving. And of course, he knew exactly where he lived. So he pulls down that rural road that was near the church, sees a silver trailer and pulls in. Charlie's wife comes out front and says, Charlie, you're back. He walked over to her and whispered in her ear and her eyes got big. And Tony Campolo said they invited him in.
He sat down with them in their living room and he introduced both of them to Christ and they accepted the Lord and were reconciled in their marriage. You can't make that stuff up. Our God loves this planet. And guess what this planet is full of? Sinful people. If God were relegated to only using the good and righteous people to bless your life, he wouldn't have that many people to work with. But he can take a man's sinful abandonment of his family and turn it around in a providential way to lead not only that man to the saving grace of Jesus, but also his wife and heal them.
That's providence. When we speak of providence, which is rooted in this word provide, pro, before and vied, video, meaning to see, seeing beforehand, when we think of providence, we are thinking much of God's goodness and omniscience and genius and beneficence and love that all comes together in the nature of his being to be at work in the circumstances of our lives in ways that we may not see or recognize till later and maybe some of which we don't see till heaven, but to do so in order to bring about your good and his glory, that's providence. So we don't believe in fate, which just says things will just happen and it's fated to be that way. We don't believe therefore that what we do doesn't matter. What we do every day and every thought and every action matters immensely. We don't believe in fate and we don't believe in chance either.
It's not just like, oh, it just by chance Charlie Stiltzfus was on the Pennsylvania Turnpike at exactly the right moment. We believe in a God who has 100% granted you this kind of freedom wherein everything you do and think makes such an enormous difference and yet who is so graciously sovereign that he's working through it even though we are tainted by sin and people persecute us. And if you start thinking about the providence of God, the first level of this, the first joy that can come in your life is when you start becoming like Jacob who saw a ladder connecting heaven and earth and saw angels ascending and descending.
And when he saw it, it was like it dawned on him and he said, surely God's in this place and I didn't know it. There can be a way in which you just start awakening to the reality of God's presence in your everyday life and when you do, life becomes way more joyful and amazing. That's Alan Wright and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Alan Wright's daily blessing. It's free and just a click away at pastoralan.org. God's love, you've heard about it with your ears.
You've believed it in your mind. Now experience it in your heart with Alan Wright's beloved book, Lover of My Soul. The Bible is a love story from beginning to end. You are the spiritual bride of Christ, the perfect bridegroom. The Bible tells about a God who has gone to unimaginable lengths to woo you, to win you and to walk with you hand in hand. For any man who has fallen in love with a woman, you've tasted the sweetness of what God's love for you is like. For any woman who has searched for true love, what you long for can only be found fully in God. Gary Chapman, renowned author of the five love languages, says, The incredible reality that God pursues us in love comes to life in Lover of My Soul. Ancient biblical accounts explode in the heart. Accept Christ's proposal, enjoy His embrace, revel in His love.
After all, it's a match made in heaven. It's Lover of My Soul by Alan Wright. The Gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. But the next level of that, as we looked at last week, is that when you start realizing, I don't just have to look for where God is in the positive mountaintop experiences of my life, but in the valleys, in the tough times, and when you begin to see God, even in your times of disappointment or suffering, now you've come to a whole new level. But what I'm talking about here is something rare, something uncommon. And that is for those saints that, like Joseph, begin to understand there is a way that God can even use the sin of the world for your good and His glory. That's amazing. So Joseph's filled with this awareness, and an almost unbelievable mercy flows through because of that.
And that's what we're after. Like the floodgate of grace that flows through your life where you can lavishly forgive in a ridiculous manner, be utterly set free, and bless those that don't deserve it, it requires this kind of revelation. Joseph's story, where does it start?
Guess what? It starts with sin. In the world of storytelling, we call this the inciting incident. There's something in every story that gets the story going, something that changes the status quo, something that makes the whole drama begin.
And it can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing. And it's a bad thing that starts the whole story. What starts Joseph's story, what starts his story, and everything in the story depends on it, ironically, is horrible sin. It starts with his own dad. Israel, verse 3 of Genesis 37, Israel, that's Jacob's new name, Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons because he was the son of his old age. So Jacob loved Rachel, and Joseph was the only son that was born to Rachel.
Others were born to his wife, Leah, or to one of two concubines. And so it was a messed up household, and all of these ten older brothers of Joseph, it's like Jacob just doesn't show him any love, and he shows all his love to Joseph. It's just horrible.
It's just horrible. I mean, it's just a formula for disaster in that family, right? Fatherly favoritism, and it inherited it. It was just a generational sin. It came down, his mom and dad were like that. They just were, and it's just rampant in their family. And so Jacob blatantly loved Joseph more.
That's where it started. And he made him a robe of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than all his brothers, they hated him.
Of course they did. And they could not speak peacefully to him. So they hated him, and they did what people who hate do. They just slandered him and verbally abused him at every opportunity. You've just got to think about this for a moment, where this is ten older brothers who are constantly putting Joseph down. They hate him. This is horrible.
I shudder to think of it. So it starts with favoritism, continues with hate, and is manifest in verbal abuse. Verse 8. After Joseph had had these dreams that seemed to imply the brothers would one day bow to him, which they indeed would, but not in the way they thought. Not because they were being subservient, but because their lives were going to be saved.
We'll see that. But they didn't know that. The brothers said to him, are you indeed to reign over us?
Are you indeed to rule over us? So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. So just when you thought they couldn't hate any more, they did. And then in verse 11, we're told plainly his brothers were jealous of him. Hatred, abuse, more hatred, jealousy, just a story that is just swimming in violations of the Ten Commandments. I mean, it's just sin, every kind you could list.
And it gets worse. Eventually, verse 18, they saw him from afar, and before he came near to them, they conspired against him to kill him. Let me just say this as pointedly as I can, because I want today for us to be sure and pray for the release of unforgiveness in our lives and for the mercies of God to flow through us and set you more free than you've ever been in your life.
That's what I want for you today. And I think it's important to state this starkly. If there's a seed of resentment, if it grows, it is the seed of murder.
That's why it matters so much. That's why the writer of Hebrews said, See to it that no one has a root of bitterness, lest that they miss grace and the root grows up and defiles many. It's what happened in the beginning. As soon as Cain was jealous of Abel, he rose up and he killed his own brother. There's a lot at stake in this revelation we're going for today. So they conspired to kill him, and they said, verse 19, to one another, Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let's kill him and throw him into one of the pits. See, what the murderous spirit is is the shame-filled soul that is unaffirmed, has no joy of its own or sense of real place in the world. And so what that hate then does is wants to bring others down so that then at least you feel like you're on the same level. That's the way it works, and that's what's happening here. Let's try to control the situation ourselves.
Here comes the dreamer. Let's kill him, throw him in one of the pits. So, verse 23, when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe.
It's a theme of this, the robe, the garment that would signify who Joseph was. And they think, if we can remove the sign of favor on his life, then we'll feel better. They took him, they threw him a pit.
They're going to kill him. But at verse 26, and this is important to the story, I'm going to come back to this figure, Judah. Judah said to his brothers, what profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh. And they listened to him, and Midianite traders passed by, and they drew up Joseph and lifted him out of the pit and sold him to the Ishmaelites for 20 shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt. And it's because Joseph went to Egypt that he was in Potiphar's household where his master's wife falsely accused him. And they put Joseph into prison where the favor of the Lord was on him. And he would meet the former cupbearer to Pharaoh, who later would be restored to Pharaoh. And then two years later, when Pharaoh would have a dream, the cupbearer would remember that Joseph could interpret dreams. And Joseph would come and interpret Pharaoh's dream.
And in so doing, Pharaoh would promote him to be second in command in Egypt to oversee the season of plenty as they got ready for a season of famine. And all of that began and was moved by this horrid sin. Allen Wright, our Good News message from the series Providence. It's the message, Good, Bad, Best.
Stick with us. Pastor Alan is back in the studio sharing his parting good news thought with all of us in just a moment. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Allen Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Allen Wright's daily blessing.
It's free and just a click away at pastorallen.org. God's love. You've heard about it with your ears.
You've believed it in your mind. Now experience it in your heart with Allen Wright's beloved book, Lover of My Soul. The Bible is a love story from beginning to end. You are the spiritual bride of Christ, the perfect bridegroom. The Bible tells about a God who has gone to unimaginable lengths to woo you, to win you and to walk with you hand in hand. For any man who has fallen in love with a woman, you've tasted the sweetness of what God's love for you is like. For any woman who has searched for true love, what you long for can only be found fully in God. Gary Chapman, renowned author of the five love languages says, The incredible reality that God pursues us in love comes to life in Lover of My Soul. Ancient biblical accounts explode in the heart. Accept Christ's proposal, enjoy His embrace, revel in His love.
After all, it's a match made in heaven. It's Lover of My Soul by Allen Wright. The gospel is shared when you give to Allen Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support.
When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Allen Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAllen.org. Back here now in the studio sharing Pastor Alan's parting good news thought for the day.
And you want to unpack the title there a bit? Good, bad, best? I'm going to choose best.
Choose the best. It's amazing that God can take even the sin of others. And that's a big part of the story of Joseph.
He takes the bad and we go, oh, that's not good, but maybe it's in the end for the best. And so that's very comforting to me to think that other sin, perhaps even my own, God is so big and so providential that He's able to use all of that. In fact, this is what God has to work with, a broken and sinful world.
And He's not limited by that. So He takes Joseph's brother's hatred, starts the cycle that eventually saves the known world. And how much might he be at work right now in our lives doing something better than we'd ever imagined? The picture in the scripture is altogether relational and life-giving and organic. And so though we speak of a mystery, the scripture speaks of human life as being granted free will so that every choice that you make matters.
And yet God is mystically and marvelously involved in the details of our lives so that He works in and through. Thanks for listening today. Visit us online at pastorallen.org or call 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. If you only caught part of today's teaching, not only can you listen again online, but also get a daily email devotional that matches today's teaching, delivered right to your email inbox, free. Find out more about these and other resources at pastorallen.org. That's pastorallen.org. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
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