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When God Gives Grace to Endure, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
October 24, 2022 7:05 am

When God Gives Grace to Endure, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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October 24, 2022 7:05 am

Clinging to Hope

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Victims of abuse carry a heavy burden.

A person who has been violated, whether it's verbal or physical, often spends a lifetime trying to recover. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll continues to describe an epic story about a 17-year-old boy who was abused by his brothers. His name was Joseph. And when we survey the journey of his life, we discover how God made beauty from ashes. In case you missed Chuck's introduction last week, we'll begin today with a helpful summary.

Chuck titled his message, When God Gives Grace to Endure. Pharaoh has dreams. He can't find the answers.

He gets word that there's an inmate in one of the prisons that might be able to help. So, Joseph comes and stands before Pharaoh and gives him the answer. A famine is coming. You must store up grain because it will be a famine that covers the earth. You must be prepared. And Pharaoh knows this is the correct interpretation.

So, out of the blue, read it for yourself. Chapter 41, verse 37. Joseph's suggestions were well received by Pharaoh and his officials. So, Pharaoh asked his officials, can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the Spirit of God? That's Pharaoh talking. This guy's got the Spirit of God.

Listen to these answers. God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you. Clearly no one else is so intelligent or wise. You will be in charge of my court and all my people will take orders from you. Here's an epical event no one could have imagined. Here's a man still in inmate garb hearing, you will be sitting on my throne or beside me on my throne.

Only I will have a position higher. Verse 41, Pharaoh said to Joseph, I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt. Whoa!

Head spinning, but that's not all. Look. He pulled his signet ring from his hand and he placed it in Joseph's hand and said, the wealth is all yours.

Spend it. You're in charge. He dressed him in linen clothing and hung a gold chain around his neck. Then he, I love this, that he had Joseph ride in the chariot reserved for his second in command. And wherever Joseph went, the command was shouted. The Hebrew says, bow to me.

Bow to me. You're in the presence of second in command, the prime minister of the land. Pharaoh said to him, I'm Pharaoh. No one will lift a hand or foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval. Here he is, dressed like royalty, having gone through all of that that was so unfair and undeserved, he's now sought out, admired, honored and promoted by the Pharaoh of Egypt.

The famine spread through all the earth. Last verse of the chapter. So when their daddy named Jacob heard there was grain in Egypt, when you began to read Chapter 42, he sends his boys to Egypt to get the grain they need to survive. So they're standing with their hat in their hand and they're begging for food. And Joseph is back here, finally can't take it any longer.

Look at 45. Verse one. He could stand it no longer. Set everybody out of the room.

He's alone with his brothers. Is this great or what? It's a terrific moment. And then he says, in the simplest of Hebrew terms that they could understand, because up until now he's been speaking Egyptian through an interpreter. Now he says, I'm Joseph. That is the last thing they wanted to hear. The guy in charge of the grub has a great big dagger hanging from his hip.

Who's going to be first? And their guilt is overwhelming. But he says, don't be upset. Don't be angry with yourselves.

Isn't that an amazing statement? Who's the one that's supposed to be angry? Be abused! Unless, of course, his God's greater than his pain. Look at what he says. Here's the reason I tell you not to be angry or fearful. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve lives. You weren't in charge.

You thought you were, but you weren't. God brought me here to be the manager of Pharaoh's land, and he made me master over all of it. God's responsible for my promotion.

Who am I to judge you? Look! I have a chance to feed the world with grain because of God who has been at work in my life. In fact, he says it down in verse 9 into the verse, God has made me master over all the land of Egypt. Verse 12, then Joseph added, look!

Come up here close. You can see for yourselves that I really am Joseph. Look!

Probably pulled his headpiece off. Look closely! I'm your brother. But the best part of all, I am here because of what God has done in spite of you. I'm the recipient of his matchless, marvelous, infinite grace in delivering me from what could have been the ruining of my life. These brothers wonder when the next shoe is going to fall.

And it never falls. Why? Because God gave Joseph a long-range view and delivered him from the narrow tunnel of his past. This is the same man who was hated by his siblings, same man who was abandoned and sold, same man who was falsely accused of rape, same man thrown in prison, left to die unfairly, same man who was forgotten by the fellow inmates, same one who had the chance to get even. But chapter 50 gives us a script where he says, Am I God that I can punish you? Listen closely.

When you take the role of punishment of another, you take God's place. You be really careful about that. You be careful about that.

Joseph goes, hands off. You intended it for evil. You meant to harm me. God didn't. God intended it not only for your good so you could survive, but for the good of the world that they might eat and survive, because I will be in charge of the granary, and I've got the ring, and I'll sign it off to whoever needs the food. Had all of that not occurred, I would not be here. I don't deserve to be here. You don't deserve either of the forgiveness, but it's all of grace.

Let me tell you something. This is the one concept the brothers can't fathom. See, had they been in his place, why?

You know what would have happened. But now that the roles are reversed, and they are at the mercy of this brother they've harmed, and he offers what they can't fathom, getting what they don't deserve, he says, don't be afraid of me. Am I God that I can punish you?

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. So don't be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.

So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them. Next verse, he lived to be 110, still taking care of them, still treating them kindly, never once, not once retaliating. Don't tell me it can't be done. Don't tell me you're too far gone. God is never too far gone. He's never run out of power. God is the infinite God of heaven. He alone has the right to punish. Joseph says, I'm not God.

I serve him, and his plan is to preserve you. Our people go on and on and on, all the way to the end. They still are afraid.

Why? Their lives have never been marked by grace. They can't grasp it. You know what occurred to me as I brought all of this to a head in my study? Maybe you can't identify with Joseph. I have a hard time. I admire him, but I kind of stand in awe of him. You know who I identify with?

The brothers. So do you. So do we. Because we rehearse our lives and realize the wrongs we've done. The failures, the inappropriate treatment, the ugly words, the times we've retaliated, gotten even. And along comes this gracious, loving God of heaven who says, that's why I sent my son. Because there's no way you're going to dig yourself out of that hole. You're sunk. But when he went to that cross, and when he died and paid your penalty, your sin penalty, he took care of it all.

Past, present, future. But you know, most people, they're like the brothers. Don't hit me, God. You know, be merciful.

He is. His son came for us, died for us, and says to us, I'm not going to punish you. I'm going to offer you relief. I love the way Frederick Bietner writes of grace. Listen to his words. Grace is something you can never get, but only be given. There's no way you can earn it, or deserve it, or bring it about any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream, or earn good looks, or bring about your own birth. You can't do it.

A crucial part of the Christian faith is the assertion that people are saved by grace. There's nothing you have to do. He repeats, changes the emphasis. There's nothing you have to do. He repeats, changes emphasis. There is nothing you have to do.

I think he's trying to get his point across. That's grace. So quit trying to do it.

Quit thinking you need to clean up, fix up, change up, so you can somehow make God smile and go woo. Nice. You're one of the brothers. Your debt's huge. The only way you and I are going to make it is to realize our Joseph went to the cross and opened the door for us to come to God.

So Beekner ends with, there's only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you reach out and take it. Then he adds, maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too. I always have wondered if the brothers beyond Joseph's death, we read of it in the end of this chapter where he dies at age 110. I wonder if even then they got free of the guilt. How long will it take you? If you have been an abused victim, how long will you stay on the horrid mat and plan to retaliate when you get a chance, since God's gears grind slowly and exceedingly fine, and you get your comeuppance? You waiting for that? What a miserable way to live. I'll tell you, if you're waiting for that, you are one bitter soul.

Joseph didn't. So he offers to his brothers the same grace God gave him, and they struggle with receiving it. How long will it take you to reach out and accept his grace? How long? How many more sermons? How many more Sundays?

How many more offers? Because you only have this many years in light of eternity to make that decision. Now. Do it now.

Now. Bow with me. You can be that epical event, and you maybe never thought of that before. By taking God's gift, your whole lifestyle can change. Your whole reason for living. Throw your list away. Get rid of the, just wait till I have my moment thoughts.

And realize God took care of it all when he gave us his son, Jesus. Just take him now. Just take the offer.

Just take it. Dear Father, Father of grace, God of glory, Master of life, Planner of all that is good and best. Hear us today as we bring our broken selves before you, knowing all that we have done that has been wrong, but willing to let it all fall on the Savior Jesus, as he bore our sins in his own body on the cross. Relieve us, our Father, of ongoing guilt, perpetual bitterness, the feeling that we somehow must wait for the moment that's ours to strike back.

That we might become a contrast to what we see around us all the time. That we might be models of people who are recipients of your grace. And that grace has erased us from all desire to get even and filled us with great joy and relief and hope. Dear Father, I pray for those especially who have been abused.

In all the unfairness and wrong of it, show them that it's all under the covering of your blood, and you're able to get them through it by your grace. Now to him who is able to guard us from stumbling and to present us faultless before your presence, with exceeding great joy, to the only wise God, our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever. Through Christ we pray. Everyone say, Amen. It's possible that our topic today has stirred up some difficult memories for you. Our hope and prayer is that God will use this message to remind you of his grace and mercy.

He is faithful to those who follow him. This is Insight for Living. Chuck Swindoll titled today's message, When God Gives Grace to Endure.

To learn more about this ministry, please visit us online at insightworld.org. Well, Chuck also addressed this topic in his brand new book called, Clinging to Hope. If you're looking for uplifting lessons on how to endure, this is the book for you.

It's also a favorite with small group Bible studies and it's a thoughtful gift for young adults as well. In Clinging to Hope, Chuck explains how to handle those inevitable moments when our lives take an unexpected turn. In each of the 12 chapters, Chuck recounts a specific story in the Bible that provides fresh wisdom on handling unwanted circumstances. To purchase a copy of Clinging to Hope, go to insight.org slash hope or call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. When you also include a donation to support the Ministry of Insight for Living, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you're helping people just like you who need hope and encouragement as well.

Let me give you an example. I just saw a note that read, Pastor Chuck, your voice has very often been the candle of light when I felt pain and deep sadness through my nights. Thank you for your ministry and as surely as the sun will shine tomorrow, so will you.

You are forever in all our collective hearts. As a financial partner, you play a role in bringing a ray of light into the dark places of discouragement. To give a much needed donation today, call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888.

Or you can give online at insight.org slash donate. Treat yourself to a vacation you'll never forget. On the Insight for Living Ministries cruise to the great frontier with Chuck Swindoll. Honestly, I had no idea that a cruise to Alaska could be so much fun. And without a doubt, the stunning views took my breath away. God's artistic genius is on full display in Alaska.

In fact, I guarantee this. You'll come home refreshed and filled with awe for his majestic creation. Yeah, at one point our ship was getting chased by dolphins.

They were playing and spinning in the waves. It was amazing. You'll have plenty of time for adventures on shore, lingering conversations around mealtime, and strolling through the idyllic ports of call. You'll be a part of some of the best parts of our day, laughing, singing, and celebrating our God. Plan to come with us, won't you? The dates are July 1st through July 8th, 2023. To learn more, call 1-888-447-0444. That's 1-888-447-0444. Or visit insight.org slash events.

The tour to Alaska is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Bill Meyer, inviting you to join us again tomorrow when Chuck Swindoll talks about conquering the giants in your life. That's Tuesday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, When God Gives Grace to Endure, was copyrighted in 2019 and 2022. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-13 19:03:12 / 2022-11-13 19:11:19 / 8

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