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  • Scott Johnson

Started From The Bottom Now We Here



Have you ever looked back on your life, certain actions, or seasons that you experienced and realized how much God brought you through? An area in your life that you wondered if you would ever come through but somewhere along your journey you did. God helped you move on.

A man named Joseph experienced some difficult seasons. He was raised up with his father and eleven brothers when one day he was sold into slavery by his ten older brothers (talk about the bigger brother issue). His older brothers were jealous, mad because Joseph received more care and love from their father (ya not the best parenting). So Joseph is placed into slavery and purchased in Egypt by a wealthy man to be a servant. During this season Joseph was blessed even in his season of slavery, he was put in charge of the entire estate. But something else happens and although Joseph has been obedient to God and upright he is placed in prison. From a servant/slave to a prisoner. The season seems to only be getting worse. Now Joseph is in prison but even in prison, he receives a blessing. Joseph is loved by the guards and begins to receive some liberties even in a jail cell. Then one day everything changes. Pharaoh has some strange dreams and seeks answers, no one seems to know what the dreams could mean until it comes to Joseph. Joseph has the answers and Pharaoh is blessed because of his information. And the next thing that happens is Joseph is taken out of prison and placed into a position of authority, he is in charge of Egypt. Ya, like all of it. Like his only boss is Pharaoh himself. Talk about starting from the bottom now he is here.

So here he is, he has gone through many seasons of difficulty, grief, and pain. But now, everything is different. He is placed in charge of everything, he finds a wife and we are told he has two children.

And the point we come to today is this…

Joseph named his older son Manasseh, for he said, “God has made me forget all my troubles and everyone in my father’s family.” Joseph named his second son Ephraim, for he said, “God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief.” - Genesis 41:51-52

Joseph names his first son Manasseh which means “God has made me forget all my troubles and everyone in my father’s family.” Joseph recognizes something at this moment. He looks back, back over the course of his life, the ups and the downs. And here he recognizes that God has helped me move on.

Looking back do you recognize that God has helped you move on? Moving on from the hurts of your past, your pains, your difficulties, you're struggling. He helped you move on from the place you were to the place you are. Look back for a moment. How has God helped you move on?

GOD HAS HELPED ME MOVE ON.

Then he names his second son Ephraim meaning “God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief.” With his second son he stops looking back and now he begins looking forward. Joseph recognizes his past but now he is looking and God has provided much more than he could ever imagine. He is running the largest country, leading thousands if not millions of people. Joseph has a Good future.

GOD HAS USED MY PAST AND MADE IT

A GOOD FUTURE.

Whether you are experiencing it now or you will in the coming days. God has taken everything from your past and He is using it. Even the things that hurt, the areas that you wish you never would have gone through. God uses it! God has taken many of your situations and struggles to place you where you are today.

Sometimes we just need to look back. Look back to the place you have come from and recognize the things God has done. I find it so interesting because Joseph names his kids this, why? Maybe because every time he calls one of them, says their name he is reminded of what God has done. Where he was but also where he is today. Now, I don’t recommend naming your kids Manasseh or Ephraim (unless you want your kids to be bullied). But maybe you should find a way to continue to remember and celebrate where you have been, what God has done and what God is doing.

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