Finding The Favor Of God | The Fantastic Future of Favor

Do You Ever Feel Like God Has Abandoned You In Tough Times?

James Greer
Jan 22, 2023    26m
When experiencing detours and setbacks, it can feel like God has abandoned you in tough times. But He has not deserted you. These experiences shape your character. God is in charge, and His favor will bring blessings and life's fullness. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer: [00:00:00] So we're continuing our series, Finding the Favor of God. And I want you to know that this is so important. You can have a fantastic future no matter what your past. If you live in the favor of God. Now, I'm not preaching on this, but everybody knows a story or most people know a story about the children of Israel that got into bondage in Egypt. God sent Moses to deliver them. He told them, Look, I want you to go in the promised land. They decided to rebel against God. So they rebelled against God. So they had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. Did you know they still had the favor of God? God clothe them. God put shoes on their feet and God fed them every single day. Now, they didn't enjoy the favor of God, like if they had gone to the Promised Land, but they still had the favor of God. But today, we're going to talk about a young man that really had the favor of God. And sometimes you're going to wonder about him having the favorite God. We're going to talk about a man named Joseph. And Joseph was the youngest of brothers. And Joseph, though he had the favor of God, his brothers. His brothers. We're going to kill him. His brothers threw him into a pit. His brothers sold him into slavery after he finally doing better than somebody lied about him.

James Greer: [00:01:17] A lady lied about him, got thrown into prison. But then Joseph, his future was still fantastic because after prison he rose to the second most powerful person in the whole world. So there's something I want you to know. Many times so many people are worried about their future, and you should be more concerned about God's favor because you've got God's favor. You're guaranteed to have a fantastic future. That's good, Brother James. Okay, we're going to start out reading our favorite verses. And then in Psalms 90:16, it says, Let your work be manifested to your servants. That's us and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord, our God, be upon us and prosper for us, the work of our hands. Well on our hands to prosper, O prosper the works of our hand. Now here's another translation Puts it this way It says this Lord our God, may your blessings or your favor be with us and give us success in all we do. Amen. Wouldn't you like to be better success as a husband, as a wife? You know, it's your job. Every single area that you do as a mom, as a dad, as a husband, as a wife on your job, and God says, Listen, I want you to be blessed in every area of your life. So what I want to do is I want to remind you with the favor of God, the favor of God.

James Greer: [00:02:45] God when he takes the natural and does the supernatural. Now, see, that should be happening next Sunday. So if you want to be part of where God takes the natural and does a supernatural, you want to be here next Sunday, because we're going to probably have a thousand plus people here and many people are going to head. Not only are they going to get this free hoodie, they're going to get an opportunity to accept the most important free gift in the whole world, and that's Jesus Christ. It's also God's favors when God takes the ordinary and does extraordinary. I've often said that's why God does so much at church. The Journey Church. We have so many ordinary people and then God does extraordinary. And, you know, you get the favor of God. I can tell you also how you can have God's favor of faster and greater. The Bible tells us in Deuteronomy 30:19, it says, I call on Heaven and earth as a witness. That's a pretty good witness. All Heaven and earth meant against you today that I have set before you life and death. A blessing and a curse, therefore. Choose life. God said, Listen, I said it before you. I want you to choose life that you may love the Lord your God that you may obey. Say, obey his voice. Try that movie. Let's try that one again.

James Greer: [00:04:01] Say, obey his voice. That's better. You know why that you might cling to him, for he is your life and the length of your days. So? So. So if you say, Man, I want God's favor and I want it faster, it's the faster you obey the voice of God, the faster you have, the greater favor of God. So you people often say, Well, am I maturing in my Christian life? I don't know. Or do you obey or do you delay? If you're obeying, you're growing in your Christian faith. If you're delaying, you're not. So they say, Well, I sometimes I don't hear the voice of God. You're hearing the word of God right now. So when you hear the word of God, that's the voice of God. Do you obey or do you delay? If you delay, you're probably not growing. If you're obeying, you're growing. All right. Let's start. I want you to know your future's at the hand of God, not somebody else. This is the fantastic future verse that we're going to read. Favor might not always look fair, but favorite. Handled correctly always brings about a fantastic future in spite of your situation today. So we're going to read out. That's good. And Joseph, we're going to read about the end of his life. And then we're going to go through some things that happened to him.

James Greer: [00:05:24] And then you got to see how God gave him a fantastic future. Then Joseph said to his brothers, and you'll see what his brothers did to him. Don't be afraid. Can I do what only God can do? Then he says this talk to his brothers that had really hurt him. You meant to hurt me. Everybody here has been hurt by somebody. Amen. Or betrayed. But God turned your evil into good. God said, Listen, when you got the favor of God, all those people that are hurting you. God said, I'll turn it into your good. It's not good that you're being hurt, but because you're hurt, I'll turn it into good to save the lives of many. Which is being done today. In other words, God said everything you've gone through in your life that has hurt you. And I've been hurt. And you've been hurt. Everybody's been hurt. He said it wasn't good that you hurt. You don't want to hurt again, but because you were hurt. God's going to take it and he's going to turn it into something good and bring you to right where you are today. And he was the first of all, make sure that you're saved. If you're here today and you're not sure that you're safe, which means you're not sure you're going to Heaven. That's why you're here today. And today is a good day. And when I give the invitation, you just step out and get saved.

James Greer: [00:06:29] Amen. But he also wants many to be saved. So next Sunday, make sure you invite people. So God says, really? He's the one that's in charge. The truth is, nobody can mess up your future. But you. Now, some people can delay it, but they can't destroy it. You need to understand that when the gods favor our future, in spite of what others do, can be derailed. But it can't be destroyed. In fact, what I found in anything and everything everybody does to hurt you. Those that hurt you. Really end up hurting themselves the most. I've seen it happen in my life over and over and over and over in life. If you'll just keep living the favor of God most of the time, the people that hurt you and hurt you and hurt you, they end up getting hurt worse. Don't worry so much about what they do. Don't worry so much about what they say. You're going to see it even in Joseph's brothers' lives. They meant to hurt him, hurt him, hurt him, and they ended up getting hurt worse than Joseph. And it'll happen to you because whatever you sue, you will read. You know. Did y'all know paydays? Not always. On Friday. Sometimes they got a payday coming later. It's friendly, you know, Friday. Jesus on the cross. Yeah. The sun was coming. Friday. The devil thought he won.

James Greer: [00:08:01] No, the sun was coming Friday. Disciples and Jesus, Mother Mary. She was crying and they were weeping. But Sunday was coming. Does anybody know what the day is? Sunday. Amen. So, no, I don't care what you're going through. I don't care where you're at. I'm going to tell you when you got the favor of God. Sunday is coming. Amen. The Psalmist says in Psalms 27:13, I would have lost heart. I have this written in my Bible. When you're going through a tough time, unless I had believed that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. No, that's why I'm still alive. Therefore, what do you have to do? I just got to wait. I got to wait on the Lord. Be of good courage. That can only come from God. And he shall strengthen your heart. Nobody else can wait. I said on the Lord. So many people falsely believe that their future is in the hands of some person or some company or somebody else, or the truth is your future, when handled God's favor correctly, is nobody hands but God and nobody can change it. You can make bad decisions that bring along a lot of hurts and pain. But only God can change the future. I also want you to know detours never mean God's deserted you. You can have detours, but they don't mean gods deserted you.

James Greer: [00:09:30] We're going to look at some of the detours that Joseph had to go through, but it never didn't mean God deserting. Now, as I read some of these detours, I want to remind you that Joseph had God's favor. But you might not want to go through the detours that Joseph went to to get to where he did. Joseph brother saw him coming from far off. And before he reached him, they made a plan to kill him. Nobody wants a brother like that. Hey, man. And they said to each other. Here comes the dreamer. Now, I will tell you. You talking about dysfunctional family? You think you got one? You ain't seen nothing till you see his family. In fact, I'm going to tell you, I think every family has some dysfunctional in it. In fact, if you don't have says dysfunctional in your family, I want to meet you, in fact, next. Starting in February, I'm going to be preaching on relationships, kind of like married relationship, but just relationships, period. So what I was going to do, I was trying to find in the Bible couples that didn't have any dysfunction. I couldn't find it here. And they're all have some dysfunctional problems. Priscilla and Aquila maybe had some, but they didn't really tell about their relationship. They told about their work. I was trying to find some really relationship people that didn't have any, and most of the people in the Bible, even though they were married there, they messed up.

James Greer: [00:10:52] And that said, Man, that's a journey. Church marriage, because everybody in church is messed up. But God likes to take mess up and turns them into miracle. Amen? So if that wasn't enough, if that wasn't enough, they said, Look, let's kill him. Let's kill him and throw his body into the well, that's good, brothers. We can tell our father a lie. In other words, that a wild animal killed him. And we will see what becomes of his dreams then. In other words. In other words, we'll see what happens to him then. Matter of fact, this is one of the most dysfunctional families you've ever seen in your life. But they had another brother. And this brother, his name was Rubin, and he heard their plans and he said, No, no, no. And I want to say, Joseph, let's don't kill him. Let's don't spill any blood. No, no, no. Instead, let's just throw him in the. Well, this is great. Let's don't kill him. Let's throw him in the well, let's throw it to the desert. But don't hurt him. Ruben Ruben's plan was, even though he said that throwing what he'd planned was to save Joe was Later, he was going to sneak around and send him back to the father. The problem is, he didn't get there quick enough. The brothers already did itf.

James Greer: [00:12:06] So when Joseph came to his brothers, they pulled off his robe with his long sleeves. So the only way he got his robe with the long sleeves and they threw him into the well and it was empty and there was no water in it. So no horse. They said, No, no, let's don't kill him. Let's throw him in the will. Unless that let's let him just die of thirst. I mean, you talk about brothers that were having problems. They were all jealous and they said, listen, we'll just get rid of him. See, what happened is this. They didn't even let him down gently. They threw him in the will and he had the favor of God. The truth is this, though. It was part of God's plan. Discomfort handled correctly builds character. God's more concerned about your character than He is your comfort. God will cause discomfort in your life to build character. And if it doesn't build character, he will continue to build breathing discomfort. So you can be in the favor of God. And God allowed this discomfort because he's trying to build character in your life. And you need to understand that. And so the truth about Joseph, he needed some character. People never tell you about the truth about Joseph. When he was young, he was really a little spoiled brat. He was kind of the baby of the family. And his daddy o his daddy loved him because his daddy was older and he was the baby came along.

James Greer: [00:13:37] His daddy gave him a fancy coat to wear around and the spoiled brat, he'd walk around with this, Hey, my daddy, Daddy loves me. Look what he gave me and all the brother and brothers. I had a dream. You're all going to all bow down to me one day. I always tell all the parents, Everybody's got a favorite and all the parents do not. Yeah, you do. Everybody's got a favor. I mean, you love them all. I know you do. But you in your heart, you've got a favorite. And you don't have to tell me who your favorite is. And but now all the kids got to get home. They could go ask my dad, Who's your favorite? And now you got to lie. I don't have a favorite. You can just go to bed at night and repent and ask God to forgive you. That's what I always did. I didn't hurt the feelings. I don't know. But you know. So, Joseph was the favorite, and he was a spoiled brat. And what he had to do is God said, Hey, I got to mature him before he could be the most second most powerful person in the world. So then Judah said to his brothers, What are we going to gain if we kill our brother and hide his death? I mean, what are we going to do there? No, let's don't do that.

James Greer: [00:14:45] Let's sell him. Let's sell some of the some of this band that's coming by. Then we're not going to be feeling guilty about it. In other words, we're not going to feel guilty about throwing him in there. We're not going to feel guilty about stripping him of his clothes. We're not going to feel guilty if we sell him into slavery. No, no. After all, he is our brother. Making dysfunctional families feel a little better? Yeah. Everybody's looking straight. I don't have any dysfunction. You're lying. After all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood. And other brothers. Agreed. You know, why kill him when we can make some money off of him? I bet Joseph, when he was dreaming all these dreams that he was dreaming. I bet he didn't dream about the detours he was going to have to go through in life. I bet he didn't dream about his brothers taking his coat and throwing him into a well. I bet he didn't dream about his brothers taking him out, sell him into slavery. I bet he didn't dream about them lying to his dad, who loved him the very most. It was his favorite son. I bet he didn't dream about after he finally got out and he started getting promoted. A woman lied about him to got thrown back into prison.

James Greer: [00:16:04] I bet he didn't dream about all that. His dream was, Hey, I'm going to be in power one day. But I'm take detours. Never mean God deserted you. Some of y'all are living in the detours of life. But it doesn't mean God deserted you. Detours can mature you, but never confuse detours with being deserted. Deserted thoughts come from the devil to detour. It is nothing but to mature you. And as you mature, you've got a fantastic future. Just because your dream hasn't come true yet does not mean it will not. See, when you're in the detour of life under all this pressure and things are hurting in your life, you can often think that God has forsaken you and He will never forsake you. The Bible says in Hebrews 13:5, Jesus himself said, I'll never leave you nor forsake you. Then I love it. Because the reason he said that the next thing says so, you might boldly say, The Lord is my helper. In other words, when you feel that way, God says, I want you to know I'm not going to leave you. I'll never forsake you. You can come to me and you can boldly say, The Lord is my helper. I will not fear. What can man do to me? Because God is my helper. Huh? You know, So you might boldly say, The Lord is my helper.

James Greer: [00:17:32] What can man do to me? Don't you know Joseph probably needed to hear that? Don't you know that he needed to know that God was with him? Did you know if you read about Joseph, you'll hear that said, no matter whether he was in jail or the pit that God was with him. Did you know? Well, at first, as I know, the verse I've written down on my Bible is the Psalmist 50:15, says Call upon me and day of Trouble and I will deliver you some of your are there. And he said, You shall glorify me. So God says, Listen, when you're in trouble, just call upon me in the day of trouble and I'll glorify you. And then Joseph starts going on his trip. But the Lord was with Joseph and the Lord was with Joseph. He'd been thrown in the pit. He'd been sold into slavery. He'd been lied about. God showed him mercy and gave him what? Favor in the sight of the keeper of jail, a prison. He was in prison. And God was saying, Hey, you got favor. You can have favor of wherever you're at in the world. And God showed him favor when I was there. Some of y'all are in the detours of life. And you might think that you're in the prison of life, but God can still show you favor wherever you're at. And if you'll be careful, you'll listen.

James Greer: [00:18:52] God can use you wherever you. He can use you in your job. He can use you at work. He can use you at home. And no matter what's going on in your life, God can show you mercy and favor. Amen. But through everything Joseph went through, Joseph still had a fantastic future. And so can you. Now Joseph's things are changing in his life. He did all this. There came a famine in the land. Everybody was starting to starve. Joseph had risen in power, the second most powerful person in the world. Guess who his brothers had to go to for food? Oh. Genesis 50. Thus, you shall say to Joseph, Why? Because he's in charge. I beg you, please forgive me the trespasses for your brothers and their sins. But they did evil to you. Please now forgive us. Oh, yeah, I guess you do for the trespasses of the servants of the God our Father. And Joseph wept when he heard him speak. What would you do if somebody hurt you the most? And they came said, Please, please, I'm so sorry. Please forgive me of everything that I did. And Joseph wept. Then the brothers also, they fell down before in his face and they said, Behold, we are your servants. So now they realized that his dream had come true. But not Joseph for them. Never thought he'd come about in this very way that it came about.

James Greer: [00:20:29] Joseph said to them, Don't be afraid. He was ministering to them. For I'm in the place of God. You'll never enjoy the fullness of the favor of God until you understand that God is in charge of your life. You'll never enjoy the fullness of God until you understand that God's in charge of life. I didn't say Joseph didn't enjoy being stripped of his clothes and thrown into a well. Joseph did not enjoy being sold into slavery. Joseph did not enjoy being put in prison. But Joseph enjoyed this fantastic future that he had. And Joseph said, Don't be afraid of me. But as far as you talk to his brothers, you meant evil against me. They really did. But God meant it for my good. He said, Look, I'm matured. I know what's going on. God took what y'all did to hurt me and turned it around in order to bring about as it is this day that you're here right now, in order to bring about as it is this day, to save many lives. See, you're not here. Even here by accident. You're here. By the Divine appointment. See, Joseph had the favor of God. It's easy to see Joseph's favor of God, isn't it? Let me tell you something else. Joseph's brothers who did all the evil. Found the favor of God. The ones that threw him in the prison, the ones that lied about it, and the ones that sold him to slavery.

James Greer: [00:22:08] The ones that lied to his daddy and told him his dad and his daddy. That was his favorite child. And his dad went through all these years thinking he was dead. The brothers came before Joseph and asked forgiveness. And Joseph therefore said, Hey, don't be afraid of me. I'm going to provide for you. I'm going to show you favor and will provide for your little ones. And he covered them and spoke kind words. Can you imagine? Most of us see that Joseph had the favor of God because he rose to the second most powerful person in the world. But we forget. Most of us are not Josephs. Most of us are like Joseph's brothers. We're doing things and saying things that we shouldn't. We had a past. And Joseph is a type of Christ. And no matter what's happened in your past, Jesus says, Hey, come on to me. He said, Not only will I forgive you. I'll speak words to you. Wouldn't it be? No matter if you're in the Detour life, no matter where you're at in life, that you could hear Jesus Christ say, Would you like to start over again? Would you like me to forgive you? Would you like to hear kind words? Man. So many times when I was growing up, I never thought of Jesus that way. I would think I messed up.

James Greer: [00:23:32] And when I came to him, he was so upset with me, just like the prodigal son. When he went home, his father met him with open arms. Jesus here today. He wants to meet you. Maybe somebody has betrayed you. And they really did hurt you. Those brothers shouldn't have done that. They really betrayed him. And there's nothing hurts like being betrayed. They shouldn't have done it. But Joseph forgave him. I think that if Joseph wouldn't have forgiven them, I don't think he'd have risen to the place he was at. And maybe you're here today and God put somebody that's betrayed you in the past. And today's the day. You need to forgive them. Maybe. Listen, maybe you're the person that did the betraying. And now today is the day that you want God to forgive you. And just like Joseph showed favor to his brothers. If your last Jesus Christ, he'll show favor to you. I told you how you could grow and mature. It's when you hear the voice of God. It's whether you obey or delay. Maybe God's talking to you today about obeying. The first and most important thing you could ever obey is make sure you have the favor of God. You'll learn more about it next week. But you get the favor of God at salvation. If you're not sure you die, that you go to Heaven. When I give the invitation in a minute, there'll be some people down front.

James Greer: [00:25:04] Just step out. Don't worry about anybody else and come and say, Man, I won't. I want the favor of God. I believe Jesus died for my sins and rose from the grave just for me. And I need the favor of God. Maybe you had the favor of God, and you just need to obey. I don't know what God is telling you. Maybe you need to follow through in baptism. Maybe join the church, maybe forgive somebody, Maybe get in a small group. I don't know. You ask God, what is your next step? Because I believe probably everybody has some kind of next step in their life. The faster you obey, the greater the favor, and the faster you realize the favor of God. Would you stand and let me pray with you and pray for you? God, you're an awesome God. Favor. Thank you for your love. I think you that we can come to you if we're like Joseph's brothers, that we need forgiveness. We're the ones that did betray him. I thank you we can forgive those that betrayed us. God, I just pray that those that need to make decisions, maybe it's to join the church, follow through in baptism, maybe call somebody, maybe getting a [inaudible]. I don't know. God, I pray that you'd speak to each one of our hearts, and I pray that we'd go out of here with a peace that surpasses all understanding. I pray it in Jesus' name. Amen.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360