I. Introduction

A. Joseph appears before us in a most normal manner.

1 His conquest of life and temptation begins in the most common of places, the home.

2. His life has many profitable lessons for us among them is the fact of the unseen operation of God's providence.

3. The providence of God overruled the evil designs of those who plotted against Joseph.

B. All through his life Joseph was dogged by plotters of evil.

I. It began with his own brothers - then with a group of merchants who bought Joseph, then sold him into slavery.

2. It continued with Potiphous' wife who accused him falsely and had him thrown in prison.

3. Joseph could have escaped the problems with his brother and Potiphar's wife if he had only compromised his convict ions.

C. But all of the deeds hatched against him only worked together for good.

1. God permitted people to work their evil but used those very things to bring him to a place of great power.

2. We must believe if we do what Joseph did then He will do for us what He did for Joseph.

II. What Joseph Did, He did as a Young Person

A. We assume that folly lies with youth and virtue lies with age and experience.

1. But that is not always true.

2. David was great and godly in his youth he fell into sin in later life, at a time when he should have known better.

B. How would Joseph deal with the nefarious acts of his brothers

1. When thrown into prison falsely, how did he take it?

2. So far as cause and effect is concerned, there was no cause for this effect.

3. Joseph had done nothing to deserve this treatment, what kind of justice is this?

4. That is an age old question in life, why is it that on the pages of the ledger of life, we seem to be unable to balance the budget of experience.

C. In Joseph's case he had done nothing to deserve this kind of justice.

1. But it wasn't justice at all, in fact, it was the working of Divine providence.

2. God was at work bringing Joseph into the place of his greatest usefulness.

3. Keep in mind that Joseph didn't know this. All he could see were his betrayers and captors.

4. His faith did not fail, probably at times it wavered but he always remained true to His God.

III. It would Have Been Easy IF He Knew the Future.

A. If he had known beforehand that he was going to be the Prime Minister it would have been easier to accept.

1. But like us, he did not know the future.

2. Job would have been much encouraged if he knew during his ordeal that he would be healed, his family renewed and his fortune restored. But he didn't know that.

3. Just like each of us he had to trust God and His grace.

B. You do not know what lies ahead for you whether good or ill but like Joseph let's trust our case into the hands of God.

1. Adversity for Joseph was not a penalty for wrongdoing or a trial for discipline.

2. It was the way of God for the triumph of his servant.

C. Faith for Joseph was not that all will co-me out right in the end but that all is right now.

1. In the light of this Rom 8:28 has a new meaning to us.

2. It means that the present working is good and not just what comes out in the end.

D. In Joseph's case God did not rescue him from the prison experience but transformed it to a greater good.

1. In Job's case God did not stop the tornado or heal the boils but God gave Job a faith greater than his trial and at the end a vindication and restoration worthy of that faith.

2. In Paul's case, God did not remove the thorn but He gave him sufficient grace for his pain and an even greater usefulness and greatness.

3. In our trials as in theirs, we must follow the formula used by Moses - he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.

IV. what Are The Lessons We Learn From Joseph

A. First of all it teaches us that the good way is not always an easy way. The way of success is the way of the Cross.

1 Second: we are reminded of the uncertainties of life, we do not know what a day may bring forth.

2. Joseph went on an errand for his father and never returned to his home.

3. How often there are similar occurrences amongst us.

4. A loved one goes to work by evening he is no more.

B. Thirdly we all have our captivities of one sort or another.

1. Joseph's captivity was one thing ours may be another.

2. The fact that he was taken where he had no desire to be and was prevented from going where he wanted to go is very similar to restorations that are laid upon us in life.

3. We are sent to places we do not want to live which prevents us from being where we want to be - so in that sense we are experiencing Joseph's captivity.

4. In such situations we can chafe and complain or we like Joseph can learn to live with them and go on to real spiritual fruitfulness.

5. Complaining about our move, or fretting over our suffering never improves anything. Fretting only tightens the bonds that bind us.

C. The next lesson we learn from Joseph is that we can prosper in captivity - he certainly did.

1. The reason was not Joseph's circumstance but Joseph's character.

2. The principle of scripture was being fulfilled - them that honor me I will honor

3. God was remembering Joseph because Joseph remembered God.

4. God was making much of Joseph because Joseph made much of God.

D. The final lesson Joseph learned was that God was aware of him even when ha was not aware of God.

1. God had not forgotten him although for a time it seemed so.

2. The very troubles that seem to overwhelm us will prove to be blessings in disguise.

3. If we only wait the Divine justification, God's faithfulness will be manifested for all to see.

4. Evil will have some temporary victories but God and right will ultimately prevail

5. Until then it is up to us to wait quietly, go forward humbly, to live faithfully and to trust boldly for God to intervene and justify us by His divine grace and power.

E. Joseph is our example in the conquest of temptation.

1. Let us go forward in the same spirit of faith and conquer.