Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. One dark night, my mom got down on her knees next to her bed, and she crawled out to God. She said, if you're real, I need you to show me, because I think I'm going to sink down. I don't think I'm going to make it.
And if I go down, I'll probably take these three boys with me. 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. There was a young man who wanted to get engaged to his girlfriend, and so he politely wanted to go ask the father's permission. And so he did have that awkward conversation in the living room with the dad.
And meanwhile, the mom was in the kitchen knowing it was happening. And father said, well, could I ask you a couple of questions? The boy said, sure. He said, do you have a place to live? And the young man said, no, the Lord will provide. The father said, okay, do you have money to buy food? And the boy said, no, but the Lord will provide. The dad said, do you have a health care plan? The boy said, no, the Lord will provide. Father got up out of the sofa and went into the kitchen to talk to his wife, and she said, how's it going?
He said, well, the young man's nice enough, but there's a problem. He seems to think I'm the Lord. Providence rooted in the word provide, which means to see ahead of time, and to say the Lord provides does not take away the vitality and importance of all of our activity. And this is the thing that's so beautiful and mysterious about the providence of God, is that you're living your life, and you're doing everything that you possibly can, and work as hard as you can, and you're doing the stuff you can, and you're facing your challenges, and you're all of that, and God is providentially at work.
So to say God's providential doesn't mean we just sit back and wait to see what He's going to do. This is the mystery and the beauty of a life with God, and the story of Joseph is one that if you really look at the providence of God, it takes your breath away to think about the amount of suffering that Joseph went through before he actually was promoted to the position that God always had in mind for him. And so Joseph's lived this life, and as we'll see, the story of his life includes from age 17 to age 30 pretty much suffering, and the whole 13 years wondering where is God in this, and yet God was woven into the midst of it.
His story is beautiful. It is one of the few Old Testament characters that you'd say, you know, if you wanted to imitate somebody, that's not really the way to read the Bible. The way to read the Bible is to look for Jesus in every story and how it points to redemption. But Joseph's a guy that you could do a lot of imitating of because no real major sin in Joseph's life, unlike David who had his terrible moments of adultery and murder, and Moses who in many ways also was a murderer and hit out, and Abraham who lied, and Jonah who ran away from God, and you name it. But Joseph, he's remarkable. It's why his story may be as much as any Old Testament figure points us to Jesus himself.
He was a son who knew his father's favor, and that becomes a symbol of the Christian life. He was the youngest of 11 boys, eventually would have a younger brother, so there'd be 12 sons of Jacob, which become the famous 12 tribes of Israel. Joseph was born, is the 11th, he was born to his mother Rachel, and Rachel was the woman, the only woman Jacob really loved. But Jacob was messed up. He had two wives, Rachel and Leah, two concubines, and was having children by all these people.
It was a dysfunctional household. And Joseph, if he had a fault, he was naive in his faith and the wonder of who he was as a person. He was a little naive and didn't realize that his brothers already hated him because their father showed Joseph favor. But then Joseph, not only did his father give him this beautiful multi-colored tunic that he wore around, you know, maybe he shouldn't have, I don't know.
But the brothers hated him all the more, like clearly dad loves Joseph way more than us. But then Joseph had these dreams. He was very prophetic and he had dreams and he could interpret dreams. But he had these dreams, he didn't know the meaning of them. And the dreams were parallel. The first was about these sheaves of wheat and they bowed down to this sheaf of wheat that was clearly like as if his brothers were bowing down to him.
And the second dream was about stars and it was the same. And his brothers just grew even more jealous and hateful and they said, are you saying that we're going to bow down to you? Well Joseph wasn't saying that and maybe he shouldn't have shared the dream, but now they hated him all the more. So he was abused. They emotionally abused him. They emotionally abused him. And then one day Joseph was approaching them and they, the brothers, conspired to kill him. So unless you have had your own family conspire to kill you, you hadn't suffered as much as Joseph. Reuben the firstborn, out of some God instinct, said don't kill him. They threw him in a pit, threw their own brother in a pit.
Don't rush by this. He cried out from the pit. I want you to see him in that pit. Don't leave me here, brothers.
Why have you done this? Some Midianites happened by and they decided to sell Joseph into slavery, human trafficking. To make matters worse, after they had fetched their few shekels of silver to sell their brother, they took his multicolored tunic and dipped it in animals blood and presented it to their father, leading him to believe that Joseph had been devoured by a wild animal.
And for 13 years they would let their father believe that his favored son was dead. Carted off to Egypt and became a slave in the household of a man named Potiphar, who was an Egyptian official. And while he was enslaved there, the Lord blessed him, favored him, and everything he touched was productive in his master's household. So the master just put him in charge of everything. And whatever this man does, it seems like it becomes more productive and fruitful than it was before. And Potiphar's wife tried to seduce Joseph and he refused.
Have you ever thought of how remarkable that is? If ever there was a man who could say, I deserve to indulge myself a bit because I've been abused and broken and forgotten and sold and enslaved and I deserve a little bit of some kind of pleasure in my life. If ever there was a guy who could cave into temptation, it'd be Joseph. But he said no. And the reason he said no was he said, my master has put me in charge of everything in this household. He said, how could I do such a thing and dishonor him?
You know what he was saying? He was saying, I am too important and I am worth too much and I am honored too highly and I am too highly favored to give in to this temptation. Listen, great resistance to temptation does not come via great self-will. It comes by great self-identity in Christ. You are made for more than sin. It is your greatest defense is to grow up in maturity of knowing who you are in Christ so that when temptation comes, it has little appeal to you because you know your worth and you know your value in this world and you wouldn't think of such a thing.
That was Joseph. 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, which 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. In anger and resentment, the wife falsely accused Joseph of attacking her, and so Potiphar has him thrown into prison. It's interesting, scholars talk about the fact that you probably would have expected Potiphar to have Joseph executed.
That would have been normal, but he wasn't. His life was spared. Just like when Reuben said, let's don't kill him when he was in the pit. God has a way of allowing, allowing these hard things and allowing even the evil of these brothers and the evil of Potiphar's wife, allowing it, but only to a limit. He preserved his life. He's not gonna let something come to pass that he's not gonna give you grace for.
That's a promise from God. So his life is spared, but he's thrown into prison, and it's the prison where the king's officials were imprisoned. What's so fascinating is that in prison he's also favored.
He is put in charge of things by the prison guards, and the hand of God's on him in prison. And while he's there, he meets two former officials of Pharaoh, the cupbearer and the chief cook. Now the cupbearer, yes, you think of presents Pharaoh the wine. You've got the image of they would taste the beverage and just make sure it's not poison and then give it to the Pharaoh. That was part of it, but really the cupbearer was like chief counsel.
This is someone who has intimate access to the supreme leader of the Egyptian Empire on a day-by-day basis. Same thing with the chief cook. And they had these dreams, the cupbearer and the cook. And Joseph prophetically interpreted the dreams, and he told the cupbearer, he said, the symbol of three in your dream means that in three days Pharaoh's gonna restore you.
It meant the opposite for the other fellow who was ended up being executed. But he told the cupbearer, he said, and he's so positive that he knew the meaning of the dream from the Lord. Holy Spirit was just showing him. He said, I just want you to do this one thing for me.
Just please do this. When Pharaoh brings you back as his cupbearer, remember me. And he was restored and he didn't remember Joseph. So Joseph spent two more years in that dungeon. He was 17 when he had his dreams, and when he was age 30, Pharaoh called.
13 years. Because then when Pharaoh had a dream he couldn't understand, and none of his soothsayers and wise men could understand. The cupbearer remembered there's a man, a Hebrew, who can interpret dreams, and they brought in Joseph. And he interpreted Pharaoh's dream about these lean cows and fat cows and how it represented.
There'd be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine, and so the way of wisdom would be to store up grain during the years of famine so there would be plenty enough for the known world during the years of famine. And Pharaoh was so taken by the obvious favor of God on his life that we read in Genesis 41 verse 41. Pharaoh said to Joseph, see I have set you over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took his signet ring, the sign of authority, 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. And he made him to ride in a second chariot, and they called out before him, bow the knee. Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt.
Wow! Providence of God. So I've been reflecting on this story that I have loved over the years so much. Again, this week from the perspective of God's Providence when life is at its lowest, when life feels like it's at its worst, and God's doing something that is at the very best. In the blink of an eye, in a moment where in the deepest valley that Joseph could be, the pinnacle of what God wanted to do and suddenly promote him, it all came to pass in the midst of that. You never know when you believe in Providence and the provision of God and the grace of God and the favor of God.
You never know when that moment might come. You never know what God's doing. You're just walking through it, and you're real, and you're human, and you're earthy, and it's hard, and that's real, and that's who Joseph was.
And then God. I just want to mention three things I think that happen in these times in life where it feels like things are falling apart and how Providence of God can be at work. And I think part of it is that when this happens and you are stripped of your human capacity to make things work, you're stripped of your ability to use your human skills, intelligence, connections, money, popularity, whatever it might be, to make things work out. When that happens, something beautiful is at hand because you begin to rely on God in a way you didn't before, and it's really beautiful.
It really is. Don't invite pain into your life, but have you not noticed that in your pain, whether it be physical or emotional or circumstantial, that if you love Jesus, you find yourself calling to Him from a deeper place than which you had been calling before? And that brings out a gift. That brings out a gift of intimacy with God.
I'm not saying go look for suffering, don't, but in it. And isn't it something that while everything's falling apart for Joseph, he's in there meeting the probably two most important Egyptian officials in the entire kingdom? Disprovidence. If his brothers hadn't hated him, if his brothers hadn't thrown him in a pit, if his brothers hadn't sold him, and if Potiphar's wife hadn't falsely accused him, he'd have never met the cupbearer. What opportunity was a Hebrew boy gonna ever have to meet the cupbearer to the king?
But he got to know him in prison, and he used his gift, and eventually that connection brought forth the provision of God. Out of the desperation these things are happening, the Lord provides. Alan Wright, our Good News message.
It's God on the inside from the series Providence. I encourage you to stick with us. Pastor Alan is back here in the studio with a parting Good News thought to share 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 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. Right here now with Pastor Alan and our parting good news thought for the day. And it reminds me of the old country preacher that would get excited and say, ain't that just like God? What's your parting good news thought for us Pastor Alan today? If Joseph could experience the depths of painful circumstances that he experienced, and yet God was with him in a providential way, how much more so we who will never experience that depth, how much more so we, when we're walking through something difficult, can trust, can count on the fact that God has got his eye on us.
He's got a plan at work. And at times we're just mystified by it. And you could never say, here's how I see it working out any more than you could have ever said that of Joseph's story. And I think that's why we have Joseph's story occupying so much of the book of Genesis, so much of the Old Testament story. God's providence at work in Joseph proves that he can be providential for us. What do you mean by God on the inside?
Well, it's a way of talking about the incarcerated, you know, on the inside. And you know, Joseph's story, which when you think about providence in the Bible, you have to go to Joseph repeatedly, because that's what it is, is a story of providence. And you might wonder who is this God that would allow Joseph to be falsely accused, put in prison, and yet we're told he was with Joseph in prison and began to show him favor while he was there. So whatever your circumstances are, God's on the inside with you. And he is able to provide to be providential, even when things look like they're going in exactly the wrong direction.
That's how good God is. 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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