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When All Hope Seems Lost    Gen. 39:21; 40:2-3, 5-15, 20-23    April 20, 2008

        We certainly see a very positive attitude in Joseph as he faces one difficult situation after another. We can judge that this attitude came from an abiding hope and trust he possessed in the Lord. How do we act in difficult situations? Is God still on the throne? In all situations we need to place our hope in His workings, ways, and will. It will be good for us to remember the words of Isaiah; For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts
(Isa 55:8-9 KJV). His trust made itself known in several different situations. Many would say Joseph trusted God When All Hope Seems Lost.

1. When All Hope Seems Lost; Trust God's . . Workings. 39:21

A. Trust God's Workings Through . . Mercy. 39:21a
"But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him."

B. Trust God's Workings Through . . Men. 39:21b
"He granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden."

        Joseph's belief no doubt focused on God and not his circumstances. He sensed the workings of
God through His mercy. God's mercy moved in Joseph and the men who witnessed his actions. He worked in an admirable manner and men noticed this. No doubt the Lord caused the warden to see in Joseph an unusual person of character and work ethics. God worked in his life and he placed his hope in those workings.

2. When All Hope Seems Lost; Trust God's . . Ways. 40:2-3, 5-15

A. Trust God's Ways In . . Confinment. 40:2-3
2 Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined.

B. Trust God's Ways In . . Communication. 40:5-7
5 The cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, each had a dream. Both had a dream on the same night, and each dream had its own meaning.6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they looked distraught.7 So he asked Pharaoh's officers who were in custody with him in his master's house, "Why are your faces sad today?"

C. Trust God's Ways In The . . Clarification Of Communication. 40:8-13
8 "We had dreams," they said to him, "but there is no one to interpret them." Then Joseph said to them, "Don't interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams." 9 So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph: "In my dream there was a vine in front of me.10 On the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms came out and its clusters ripened into grapes.11 Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh's cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand."
12 "This is its interpretation," Joseph said to him. "The three branches are three days.13 In just three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position. You will put Pharaoh's cup in his
hand the way you used to when you were his cupbearer.

D. Trust God's Ways In The . . Commendations Given. 40:14-15
14 But when all goes well for you, remember that I was with you. Please show kindness to me by mentioning me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this prison.15 For I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing that they should put me in the dungeon."

        Did Joseph deserve confinement in prison? Absolutely not! Did he look for someone to communicate to the Pharaoh about his unjust imprisonment? Yes! As a man of prayer Joseph looked for ways to get a clarification about his confinement to the Pharaoh in hopes God would lead him to release him. But in the midst of all this Joseph worked faithfully as an appointed leader in the prison. He sought to get a commendation from his fellow prisoners as he interpreted their dreams. What would most of us do in this kind of a situation? If we seek to be a witness for the Lord many more opportunities come through these kinds of circumstances than in our normal lifestyles.

3. When All Hope Seems Lost; Trust God's . . Will. 40:20-23

A. Trust God's Will In . . Arranging What He Communicated. 40:20-21
20 On the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, he gave a feast for all his servants. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker: 21 he restored the chief cupbearer to his position as cupbearer, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand;

B. Trust God's Will In . . Achieving What He Communicated. 40:22-23
22 but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had explained to them.23 Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. HCSB

Joseph interpreted the dreams of some fellow prisoners, and expected God to arrange the fulfillment of
these dreams just as he thought He would. But God did not work just like Joseph thought He Would. Now there is nothing wrong with expecting God to work, but the will of His workings may not always agree with our thoughts. Joseph continued to work and do his best in the prison. If he had a personal pity party we do not know about it. In several of these experiences it appears all hope seemed to be lost but he still trusted God in these times and this teaches us to trust God When All Hope Seems Lost! Amen? Amen!