Joseph

7 Things to Remember… [Part 2]

“They spotted him off in the distance. By the time he got to them they had cooked up a plot to kill him. The brothers were saying, “Here comes that dreamer. Let’s kill him and throw him into one of these old cisterns [pit]; we can say that a vicious animal ate him up. We’ll see what his dreams amount to.”” – Genesis 37: 18-20

Today we’re going to continue with the “7 Things to Remember When You Have a Pit Experience.” We’ve already talked about two of them (1. Are You Ready for Change Yet? & 2. Attacks Will Come) in my previous blog 7 Things to Remember…. So let’s jump into two more thoughts today that I’d like to leave you with.

3. Losers Focus on What They’re Going Through

We talked about this briefly before but I want to state it again here.  Having a title, doesn’t exclude you from experiencing trials.  Maybe you’re a pastor, a leader, a manager at your job or someone with some kind of authority…that title doesn’t stop trials from coming your way (wouldn’t that be great?). As a matter of fact, it feels like they grow, last longer and come at a quicker speed than before.

I write this thought because when you go through your pits, you have a choice on how you will respond to that situation.  I have learned that while losers focus on what they’re going through (the here and now, the short term effect, their feelings, etc.)…Champions Focus on Victories.  We all experience the pressures of life. I know negative thoughts come to our minds on an almost daily basis. I know we’re surrounded by an enemy that bombards our minds, our eyes, our hearts and our families…but we have a choice of whether or not we’re going to let that poison effect us.  Let’s stay positive…only the devil & his demons like negativity. Joseph could of focused on what he was going through…but he didn’t. He kept going forward every step of the way. What are you focusing on today?

There are no short cuts to anyplace worth going to.” – Abraham Lincoln

4. How do You Respond to People?

Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” I think this one is going to hit a nerve for some of you. Why? Because this was something that I had to experience too.

How do you respond to people when you’re in a pit? I learned that when I would go through something, I would take it out on the people around me. Maybe this doesn’t apply to you, but maybe you know people like that.  When things don’t go their way; they get irritable, moody, angry, they get loud and…I think you see where this is going. (Ok, maybe those were just for me.)

Just take a moment and think about how you have been treating people lately.  Have you been sowing love, kindness and joy? When you see people going through a trial you went through years ago…do you offer a word of wisdom or are you thinking “you got to get over it you sniveling little sissy.” What about when you see someone that you haven’t seen in awhile? Are you quick to greet them with a loving embrace and say “it’s so good to see you” or do you think “where have you been?” It grieves me when I see people shoot the wounded. We should be the first to respond with grace…especially when we go through our pits.  Look how the pits changed Joseph.  It has a way of softening us.  We see later on when God brought people his way that Joseph responded with compassion.  He was quick to help them out.  How have you been responding to the people that God is bringing your way today…even if you are in a pit?

Let me end today’s blog with a great story. You never know how God will repay an act of kindness…

Late one blistering night, a couple dashed out of the rain into the lobby of a small Philadelphia Hotel hoping to secure a room for the night.  But much to their disappointment, the hotel was completely full.  “There are three conventions in town” said the cheerful front desk clerk.  “I’m afraid all the hotels are completely booked, you will not find a room anywhere in this city.”  The couple started to turn away and the clerk continued, “…but I can’t send a nice couple like you out in the rain at 1am in the morning. Would you be willing to sleep in my room? It’s not exactly a suite” he added. “But it will make you comfortable for the night.” The couple was reluctant to put the man out. “Don’t worry about me, I’ll make out just fine.” And so finally they accepted his offer. In the morning the elderly gentlemen said to the clerk, “you’re the kind the of manager who should be the boss of the best hotel in the United States. Maybe someday I’ll build one for you.” The man at the front desk simply smiled and thanked him.  Two and a half years later, the hotel clerk received a letter from the elderly gentleman.  In it was a round trip ticket to New York City and a note. The note reminded the clerk of the night he had helped the couple and invited them to come up as guests. He had nearly forgotten about the incident.  But he decided to take them up on their offer. They picked him up at the airport and took him to the corner of 34th Street & 5th Avenue in Manhattan.  “That (pointing to a mammoth, giant new building made of reddish stone on the corner of 34th & 5th Ave) is a hotel I have just built for you to manage.” The clerk looked at the elderly gentleman saying, “Are you joking? You must be joking.” And the man responded, “I can be assured that I am not” with a smile. This is the story of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel (One of the most historical 5 Star Hotels ever made.)

You never know how God will repay an act of kindness.  I want to challenge you today to sow kindness, love, joy and compassion to those that God is bringing your way this week…even if you find yourself in a pit experience.

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7 Things to Remember…

“They spotted him off in the distance. By the time he got to them they had cooked up a plot to kill him. The brothers were saying, “Here comes that dreamer. Let’s kill him and throw him into one of these old cisterns [pit]; we can say that a vicious animal ate him up. We’ll see what his dreams amount to.”” – Genesis 37: 18-20

Have you ever had a pit experience in your life?  Maybe it wasn’t like Joseph where he was thrown into a pit by his own brothers (they actually wanted to kill him).  But maybe it was a different pit.  It could be a financial pit, maybe a relational pit where things just aren’t the same anymore with your spouse or it could be some kind of storm or trial.  One thing I have learned over the years…is that you can’t bypass the pits in life.  They’re going to happen to all of us.  The question isn’t whether pits will come into our life or not…but what are you going to do when you find yourself in a pit? Over the next few blogs, I want to share with you Seven Things to Remember When You Have a Pit Experience.  I pray that these will help you overcome the pits that might be coming your way or possibly that you’re in right now.

1.  Are You Ready for Change Yet?

This is always the first thing we have to ask ourselves when we find ourselves in a pit.  I’m pretty sure Joseph even asked himself this question too.  It’s a question I think will come to our minds: how is God trying to change me? God is always trying to change us. If you’re married, I’m sure you can say an AMEN to that. Why? Cause as soon as you get married, you’re going to go through changes.  But these are good changes.  I can testify that marriage has made me more gentle, kind, etc.  I’ll never forget the day when God told me, “be careful how you talk to my daughter.” That got my attention right away. We have to be willing to change.  Sometimes we hold back the blessings of God cause we refuse to change.

 2.  Attacks Will Come

The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike.  We can’t sit around and complain about what we’re going through.  I’m sure you probably knew someone like that when you were younger.  And chances are, some of them might still be like that today.  Instead of letting life beat you up, you have to begin to speak things into existence. I do this all the time.  You have to begin to say things like, “Favor is coming, provision is coming, blessings are coming, healing is coming, salvation for my kids is coming, finances for these bills are coming, doors are going to open, my husband is changing for the better, my wife is changing for the better…” or even things like “I have great potential, I can change, I can get a degree, I can become a great parent, I can get a better job…” I guarantee that things will begin to change because you first changed. Joseph was a great example of this! He found himself in a pit, he was sold as a slave, his family turned on him and he found himself in jail.  If anyone had a reason to get bitter…it was him.  But he actually changed things around and God began to promote him.

In the next blog, we’ll continue our journey through the Seven Things to Remember When You Have a Pit Experience…