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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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Thanks for joining us online this past weekend! Continuing our study through the Book of Genesis, Fort Lauderdale campus HSM leader Javan Shashaty shared from Genesis 40. In this message, we explored how Joseph interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker in prison and discovered how God uses difficult situations in our lives to teach us something.
Dive deeper into this teaching on your own, with your family, or in your online group! Watch the video below to see a recap of this weekend’s teaching. You can also scroll down to check out expanded notes and summaries from the teaching, small group questions, and get informed on some of the great resources available to you.
To watch the message in its entirety, click here.
Let’s recap some of the key talking points from Javan’s message:
God Has a Purpose for Your Pain (Genesis 40:1–4): If you remember, Joseph was thrown into prison after being falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife of trying to sexually assault her. But just as we saw when Joseph first arrived at Potiphar’s house, God was with Joseph and he gained favor with the warden—to the point that Joseph was placed in charge of everyone who came into the prison. You see, even in the midst of what could only be categorized as major disappointment for Joseph (a man who had already experience his fair share of disappointment), it’s clear he wasn’t there by accident.
Later, Pharaoh threw his cupbearer and baker into prison for offending him. We don’t know exactly what they did to offend him—though some scholars say they were accused of conspiring to kill Pharaoh. All we know is they were assigned to Joseph’s care in prison. Joseph and these two men were in the same prison at the same time . . . this was not by accident. God had a reason for this! You see, God uses difficult situations to show us something. Sometimes, it’s a lesson we otherwise wouldn’t have learned! There’s a reason the Bible repeatedly emphasizes the benefits of trials, the blessing of suffering, and the life-changing power of difficulty, because it’s there where we most often see God more clearly and vividly in our lives. When comforts, distractions, and illusions of control are stripped away, we can see the face of God, know the heart of God, and understand the character of God on a much deeper level.
Even things that seem like an unfortunate coincidence are not by chance and are never wasted, because as Romans 8:28 (NIV) tells us, “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.” The trial you’re in right now might just be an opportunity to grow as God works in it and redeems your struggle.
So, even though right now our lives may seem like a total mess, and we may feel restricted, frustrated, and just flat out annoyed . . . God is working and doing something far greater than we could ever imagine in it. So, instead of asking, “Why am I here?” we must begin to ask, “What am I here to learn?”
God Sees You in Your Pain (Genesis 40:5–7): The cupbearer and the baker both had dreams on the same night. That morning, Joseph noticed they were sad and in pain. Now, consider for a moment who Joseph is in the grand scheme of Scripture. You see, Joseph is a picture of Christ in the Old Testament. He’s a man the Lord used to foreshadow His Son. God moved and worked in Joseph’s life in a way that points us to Jesus. Why is this so important? Well, in the same way Joseph felt the pain and sorrow of these men, Jesus also feels your pain and sorrow. And in the midst of your sorrow, He wants relationship with you.
Maybe today Jesus is asking you the same question Joseph asked these men: “Why do you look so sad?” Would you be willing to tell your Savior the answer to this question? You may not know this, but it’s okay to be honest with God about your pain. You can be authentic and real with God. He can handle it! You can tell Him if you’re angry, you can voice all your frustrations to Him, and you can cry and tell Him you’re sad. And listen to this: Not only does He hear you, but He’ll grieve with you, mourn with you, feel your pain, and respond to you because Jesus is the only one who can make sense of the sorrow. He’ll speak peace, comfort, supernatural strength, boldness, compassion, patience, wisdom, and a new perspective to your spirit. If you lean into your relationship with Him and seek His face, He’ll work wonders in your weakest moments. He may not change your circumstances, but He’ll change your heart!
The problem is many of us don’t bring these raw, real feelings to Jesus. When we feel angry, sad, disillusioned, or confused, we often try to fix it ourselves or we try to run away from the issue just to numb the pain. Maybe today Jesus is inviting you to open up to Him the same way Joseph invited these men. Regardless of what’s going on, Jesus is inviting you to bring it all to Him so He can make sense of it all!
Jesus Wants Us to Remember Him (Genesis 40:8–15): Joseph’s request to the cupbearer was simple: “Remember me.” Once the cupbearer is restored, he’ll have a voice in the culture because he’ll have a seat at the table with the most powerful man in Egypt. He can choose to speak for Joseph, or to forget him. Now obviously, there’s some risk in speaking for Joseph. Considering the accusations made against Joseph, which the Pharaoh may or may not know about, the cupbearer could potentially lose his position again or even be killed if Pharaoh doesn’t like what he says. The truth is that taking a stand for Joseph would be difficult. And it’s the same for us as believers!
Today, taking a stand for Christ is a difficult thing to do. No matter where you are—in your workplace, your neighborhood, your school, etc.—it takes courage to live unashamed of the gospel and remember Jesus. The fact is, similar to how Joseph was falsely accused of something terrible, many people have a false view of Jesus and His Church, of who Jesus is, and what He’s all about. Many have been deceived, just like Potiphar was, regarding what it means to follow Jesus. This makes standing up for Jesus and trying to reach people with His gospel harder. But this isn’t a new thing. Since the early days of the Church, this has been the case. It’s never been easy to be a faithful witness for Jesus, to declare His truth and His cause.
The question is: What will you choose to do? The apostle Paul said in Romans 1:16 (NIV), “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.” May this be our hearts as well.
The gospel is the good news of salvation through Jesus. We were saved, transformed, redeemed, restored, forgiven, accepted, and given new life by God. We’ve experienced the power of God that brings salvation. We must remember Him every day and what He’s done for us so that in all that we do—in every season, area, and capacity of our lives—we may represent Christ in a dark world and bring the light of the gospel to those who desperately need it. REMEMBER JESUS!
Quote to Remember: You may not know this, but it’s okay to be honest with God about your pain.—Javan Shashaty
As you think about this weekend’s teaching, here are a few questions to reflect on and consider with your family, your circle of friends, or in your group.
Ice-Breaker: Who was your favorite hero as a kid? It can be a superhero or any other heroic character you loved!
Discussion Question 1: What difficult situation has God allowed you to encounter recently as an opportunity to grow? How are you to grow and seek Him in it?
Discussion Question 2: Why is it so hard to be honest with God about our feelings and pain? What step can you take to be real with God today?
Discussion Question 3: This weekend, Javan reminded us that Jesus is the only One who can make sense of our dreams when they seem blurry or broken. What dreams do you need to surrender to Jesus so He can give you clarity and direction?
Discussion Question 4: Just like Joseph asked the cupbearer to remember him when his dream came true, we’re also called to remember Christ and stand up for Him in a dark world! What bold and courageous stand do you need to take for Christ in your life?
Ponder: Just like the cupbearer and the baker experienced two different outcomes, there are also two different outcomes in this world. Those who repent and turn to Christ as Savior will be redeemed; however, those who don’t repent will be condemned. Take time to reflect on this uncomfortable truth because when we really understand how bad the bad news is, we can truly understand, rejoice in, and be inspired to share how good the good news is!
Practice: When we understand the good news, we can embrace the unique dreams God has placed in our hearts because we know they’re a gift of His grace! Consider what dream He’s given you and take a step of obedience and faith this week regarding that dream.
Pray: Pray a prayer of surrender and adoration. Surrender your dreams to God so His direction regarding your next steps would be clear, and praise Him for the good news, good dreams, and good promises He so graciously gives you!
Looking to dive deeper into your relationship with Jesus this summer? Or maybe you want to grow in a specific area or have some hard questions answered? We’ve got you covered! Sign up for one of our latest Bible plans. From brand-new plans on studying the Bible and prayer to plans on relationships, sharing the gospel, experiencing peace, overcoming anger, finding fulfillment, or studies through books of the Bible, we have a variety of awesome resources for you, no matter what season of life you’re in, to grow in your faith and study the Bible.
To view our reading plans, click here.
As we continue to track the news and information about COVID-19 and its effects both worldwide and right here in our surrounding cities, this week we will continue to hold services ONLINE.
Join us this Wednesday for part five of the powerful Alpha class where we’ll discuss why and how to pray, or sign up for one of our other great classes. From apologetics to essentials of the faith to finances, these online classes will help you get to know Jesus and learn valuable and practical ways to experience the life God created you for.
Then on the weekend, we’ll continue our study through the Book of Genesis as Pastor Doug Sauder teaches from Genesis 41. In this message, we’ll explore the power of moments as we see that nothing can stop God’s good plans, why good moments should always carry more weight in our lives than the bad moments, and how we can be prepared for the moment when God’s plan becomes reality.
We look forward to spending another awesome week with you!
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Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.