Sermon Blog

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How to succeed. Genesis 39

September 16, 2019

Do you know someone who seems to be successful no matter what they do? There was a musical once titled, “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying.” Well, rarely, if ever, does anyone become good at what they do, to say nothing of succeeding, without doing much more than just trying! No matter what it looks like to most people, the successful worker’s accomplishments have come, no doubt, as the result of ingenuity and dependability, but also, lots of just plain hard work.

Joseph, on the other hand, had a true “secret for success.” But, that’s “the rest of the story.” Any of the great things he did came after years of being belittled, hated and sold by his brothers, lied about, and wrongfully imprisoned. During those years and years of unjust treatment, Joseph didn’t just show up for work—he rose to the top. He proved himself a most capable and trusted worker so much so that Scripture says: Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned (v. 4); Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care (v. 6). You don’t get that kind of advancement on the job without working hard, honestly, and productively.

When he was enslaved—this time to the prison warden, as in his previous experience, his stellar character was demonstrated by faithful work. Again, he proved to be most trustworthy, so The warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there” (v. 22).

We can correctly conclude that hard work, even in the midst of seemingly impossible circumstances, has its own reward. But there’s even more to Joseph’s story. Study verses 2- 5, 21, & 23 to discover the “secret” of Joseph’s “success” in those difficulties.

Life Application Questions:

  1. What was the “secret” of Joseph’s “success”?
  2. How did Joseph’s experiences prepare him for ruling in Egypt?
  3. What’s it like where you work? Are you experiencing Joseph’s secret in your work life?
  4. How would your employer or fellow workers describe your work habits?
  5. How do you see your job and its location as God’s place for you on mission? How are you prepared to handle the temptations that may appear in your work environment?

What can you do when you feel you are “enslaved” in your job? How are you learning to trust God as Joseph did?   

JD, GD         

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