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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » John Hagee » John Hagee - Joseph, The Darkest Hour

John Hagee - Joseph, The Darkest Hour

John Hagee - Joseph, The Darkest Hour
John Hagee - Joseph, The Darkest Hour
TOPICS: Joseph's Journey: From The Pit To The Palace, Joseph, Sufferings, Hard times, Destiny

Turn to Psalm 105:17, as we continue our sermon series on "Joseph's Journey: From The Pit To The Palace" with this sermon "The Darkest Hour". Listen closely. Your darkest hour is conquered by your dream about your future. A dream written down is a goal. A goal broken down into steps is a plan. A plan backed by divine action will conquer your darkest hour. You will have a darkest hour. You will be the person responsible between making it your permanent address or a temporary experience. Psalm 105:17: "He sent a man before them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. They hurt his feet with fetters. He was laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him". "The word of the Lord tested him".

Father, thank you that in our darkest hour, we can call upon the light of the world and know God's perfect will for our lives. In Jesus' name, we pray. And all of God's children said, amen.

You may be seated. Four things to remember in your darkest day. One, champions are never chosen from the ranks of unscarred people. I'm going to say that again. Champions are never chosen by the hand of God from the ranks of unscarred people. Every person God ever used in the Bible, he put them through a blast furnace to see if they would be true and loyal to him. Joseph died with scars around his ankles created by those leg irons. He became the prime minister wearing scars. Jesus was laid in a borrowed grave with the scars of 39 stripes on his back, with his hands and his feet split open. He had his side ripped open with a Roman spear to assure that he was dead. Jesus stands right now at the right hand of God the Father, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, with scars, with scars. How are the Jewish people, in the future, going to recognize Jesus as Messiah? The scars.

Zechariah 12:10 says, "Then they (the Jewish people) will look upon me whom they have pierced," and know that he is the Son of God, the Messiah. Trouble does not mean God does not love you. Trouble means you are a card-carrying member of the human race. Trouble strengthens you. It puts fire in your body. Trouble tests your fortitude factor. Trouble turns your spaghetti spine into steel. Trouble reminds you that you are mortal. Trouble lets you know that your strength is not enough. Trouble forces you to call on the Lord. Call upon him. He is Jehovah Shammah. He is God who is there. In your darkest hour, the light of the world is with you. When you feel totally forgotten, the still-small voice will whisper, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you even to the ends of the earth". Though your mother forgets you as a suckling child, I will never forsake you. I am your defender. I am your fortress. I am your hope. I am the light of the world. Turn to me! I will save you! Give him praise in the house!

The Bible says, listen, "He is the Lord that dwells in the thick darkness". He dwells in the thick darkness. He is there in your darkest day. While you're weeping in the cell about your predicament, God has Pharaoh preparing your signet ring, your robe that you're going to wear in royalty, your chariot, your crown, the golden medallion that will go around your neck, signifying to everyone in the Egyptian empire, you are powerful. "The half has not entered into the minds of men what God hath prepared for his own," so says saint Paul. And saint Paul was there. On the worst day of your life, listen to the words of Jeremiah 33. "Call upon me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things that you know not". "Then in your darkest day, you will call, and the Lord will answer". Psalm 50, "Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you". The Bible says over and over and over and over, in your darkest day, the light of the world is right there! Give him praise in the house!

Secondly, when you're in prison, remember in the prison experience, remember that adversity leads to achievement. Adversity leads to achievement. Your struggle is proof you have not been conquered. A mighty oak tree becomes a tree because a tiny seed was planted in the ground. And it struggled and fought its way up to face the sunshine and the rain. And it grew bigger and stronger. It fights its way to the sunshine and the air, only to wrestle with storms and snow and frost before it becomes a mighty oak. Adversity leads to achievement. The resistance of water makes it possible for a battleship to float. The resistance of gravity makes it possible for you to walk. The resistance of the air makes it possible for a jet aircraft to fly. Moses tended sheep for 40 years on the backside of the desert. He was listed as public enemy number one in Egypt before God sent him thundering back to Pharaoh's court, saying, "Let my people go".

One man called of God crushed the Egyptian empire. Twenty-four hours ago or just a few days ago, he was herding sheep for 40 years. Don't look at your present circumstance and say, "This is the final outcome". In a day, God can put you in a position of absolute power and authority to achieve the impossible. That can happen! The disciples were on the Sea of Galilee. And there was a raging storm. It was pounding the waves. It was about to crush their boat. The reason the Sea of Galilee could become so shattered with the storm was that the mountain ranges form a wind tunnel that come down the Jordan valley. And once it hits that lake, in a matter of minutes, it can turn it into a tempest storm. The disciples are on the Sea of Galilee and the storm is raging. And they looked at Jesus, and said, "Don't you care that we perish"?

They knew they were about to die. And Jesus came walking to them, walking on the water. Walking on the water, meaning the thing that threatened to destroy them, he was using as a sidewalk to deliver them. What is it that threatens to destroy you? What is it? God has it under his feet. He's using it as a sidewalk to come out to rescue you. Nothing is impossible to God. God has your problem under his feet. When you're in the darkest hour, God turns trial into triumph. He transforms your misfortune into a masterpiece. Joseph became prime minister through what appeared to be misfortune. If he hadn't been sold into slavery, he would never have met Potiphar, and he would not have been introduced to his lustful wife, which got him thrown into jail. But in jail is where he met the cupbearer, who told Pharaoh that this Jewish boy over in the jail can interpret dreams.

And he, Joseph, was snatched from the prison and put in the palace in one day by the leader of the world, because that boy could translate that dream. His life seemed to be a series of tragedies, but it was in fact a divinely orchestrated masterpiece by the hand of God to save the world. Joseph would save his family, Jacob. Jacob would be the source of Israel. Israel would be the source of the 12 tribes, king David, Jesus Christ, the Son of God who redeemed all of us. The Bible would never have been printed, because God had to get this little Jewish boy out of this shepherding family, all the way into Egypt and in the most powerful position in the world. And it looked like a series of tragedies. It was nothing but a bus ticket to the perfect will of God!

When you're living the darkest day of your life, here are three raging emotions you're going to face. The first is doubt. Joseph asked, as you will ask, "Am I in the will of God"? Look at my life. It's an absolute disaster. If God loves me, why has all this happened to me? Doubt is not disbelief. Listen to that again. Doubt is not disbelief. The Greek word for doubt projects the concept of uncertainty, of being unsettled. Disbelief refuses to consider the truth. Disbelief says there is no God. Doubt says, if God is for us, why is this happening? There's a great difference between doubt and disbelief. Consider Gideon in judges 6:12: "The angel of the Lord appeared unto him," the Bible says, "The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor".

I think that's one of the funniest things in the Bible. Gideon is behind the barn, threshing his wheat, because he doesn't want the Midianites to know that he has food. Israel is under attack by the Midianites. And he's taking this little sheaf and he's beating it, looking out to see if someone's going to come. And the angel shows up and says, "Hail, you mighty man of valor". If he was a mighty man of valor, he'd been out in front of his barn, threshing that wheat, saying, "Come and get it". But God has a sense humor.

John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus, he's in prison. He's about to get his head cut off. And when they come to him, John says, "Is Jesus the Messiah? If he is, do something. Get me out of here". Jesus said, "No greater man was born of women than John". If the greatest man who ever lived doubted on his darkest day, why are you doubting that God loves you? How do you deal with your doubts? You deal with your doubts, knowing you trust in a God who is all-knowing and that he's smarter than you. God sees the future. You can't see the future. He sees the end from the beginning. We call him "The Alpha and Omega". That's the first and the last. He knows what's going to happen.

The Bible says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts. My ways are not your ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my thoughts higher than your thoughts," Isaiah 55. That's God's way of saying, I'm a lot smarter than you. Quit worrying! You deal with your doubts by recognizing the anatomy of doubt. Look at Joseph and John the Baptist. Both were doing the will of God. Both were physically exhausted. Both were in a dark place, the dungeon. The point is doubt flourishes in the dark. Doubt is like a toxic mold that grows spiritual darkness. Darkness feeds doubt. The answer is, run to the light. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world".

Light conquers darkness. Light reveals. Light exposes. Light guides you to the cross. Light brings hope. Light brings the answer. God says, "The father of lights". Satan is called the prince of darkness. When you're tired, when you're alone, when you're weary, when you're heartbroken, when your life makes no sense, when you're living the darkest day of your life, repeat these words: "The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is my strength: of whom shall I be afraid"? Feel the surge of God come and fill you, knowing you cannot be defeated! You will, will prosper, in Jesus' name! Give him praise in the house of God!

The second crisis you will face will be discouragement. The New Testament uses three words to convey the idea of discouragement. They are translated to faint or to grow weary. 2 Corinthians 4, Paul speaks to pastors, to choir members, to Sunday schoolteachers, to ushers, to the ministry staff who may become discouraged in ministry. He writes, "Therefore, since we have this ministry, we have received mercy, we do not lose heart". "We do not", what? "We do not lose heart". Jesus said in Luke 18, "That men ought always to pray and not to lose heart," and not to lose heart. We must live and breathe and take up our residence in prayer or we're sure to faint, we're sure to grow weary, we're sure to become discouraged, sure to become bitter. The answer is get on your knees and fight the good fight.

Prayer is warfare. A prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian. Some prayer: some power. More prayer: more power. Much prayer: much power. Prayer should be first choice and not your last chance. Get it straight. Prayerlessness is sin. 1 Samuel 12:23, "For God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you". Did you even know that's in the Bible? As powerful as God is, he cannot answer prayer until it's prayed. The New Testament church, "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together". What did that? The power of prayer. How did Joseph respond to discouragement? He continued to do what God gave him to do.

There was a statement that was used around the world during the Second World War. The statement was, "Stand your post and do your duty". That's a good order for the body of Christ. "Stand your post and do your duty". He was put into prison with iron yokes on his neck, shackled around his ankles. He didn't blame God. His brothers, the cupbearer, who waited for two years to tell Pharaoh there's a Jewish boy in the prison. When we blame God, we cut off the source of power. When we blame others, we extend the differences between us and we poison the relationships. The blame never affirms: it only assaults. The blame never solves the problem: it only complicates the problem. Blame does not unite: it separates. Blame never forgives: it rejects. When you get in trouble, stop looking for someone to blame. Get on your knees and talk to God, and the problem will go away!

Joseph responded to his discouragement by carrying someone else's burden. Joseph interpreted the dreams of the baker and the cupbearer. He could have said, "Forget it. You guys are nothing but cons. You're going to be here all your life". But he did exactly what he promised them he would do. Do you need encouragement? Are you caught up in your own needs? This is the Bible remedy: go help someone else. Go help someone else. Go to the hospital where there are people your age gasping for breath, connected to a maze of wires and monitors with death hanging over their head. Go to the children's hospital where children just like yours will never go home. Go to the senior citizen's shelter and see aged people strapped in wheelchairs, so drugged up: they don't know day from night.

Sit in my office one day, just one day, and listen to the streams of human suffering that will break your heart. You'll go home, saying, "Thank you, God. Thank you, God. I have no problems. Thank you, God". The last enemy you will face is depression. I'm not talking about psychotic depression. I'm talking about mood swings, disappointment. In the Bible, great men suffered with severe depression. By definition, a negative state of mind that causes a change in your mood and behavior. Depression is the opposite of happy. Depression covers everything from the blues to minor mood swings. If you have severe depression, you need to get professional help. Who gets depressed? Almost everyone from time to time.

Moses was depressed, one of the greatest leaders, spiritual leaders, in the history of the world. He came down from the top of mount Sinai and threw the Ten Commandments down in a rage. He came down. Why? He had been 40 days with God on the top of the mountain. He had just gotten the Ten Commandments that were going to change the destiny of the world. And while he was gone, they elected a new pastor. That's depressing. They came up with a new theology. It's the golden calf theology. They wanted a God they could touch and see like the ones they had in Egypt. And he threw the stones, the Ten Commandments, down. His congregation was having sex orgies when he returned from the mountain to be with God. It's enough to make any pastor lose his mind. He screamed in righteous rage. Phew. And God sent an earthquake and swallowed alive everybody that was doing that.

It was just God's way of saying, "Moses is my guy. You follow him. He's the spiritual authority". A massive grave instantly. Job was depressed. "Curse the day I was born. Why was I not born dead"? Elijah prayed, "Lord, take my life. I'm the only one left". This is a word for it. "I'm the only one left that's living for you". Pity-pot prayers lead to depression. Pity-pot prayers lead to depression. Billy Graham's wife said, "I'm glad God doesn't answer all our prayers. If he did, I would have married the wrong man five times". King David said, "Why art thou cast down, o my soul"?

Every decision that you have determines your destiny. In the northeast, codfish are a big commercial business. There's a big demand for codfish in California. The problem is, how do you get them from the northeast to the west coast and keep them fresh? First, they froze the codfish, but that took away the flavor. Next, they shipped them in sea water. It was very expensive and the codfish arrived soft and mushy. Finally, a creative man came up with a perfect solution. The codfish were placed in a tank of water with their natural enemy, the catfish. Catfish were put in that tank with those codfish and flew from the east coast to the west coast.

When they arrived, they were fresh, they were firm, they were full of life. Why? The point is, what does that have to do with you? Sometimes God puts a catfish in your tank. Just when you think life has no bearing, life has no future, God will put something in your tank that makes you... Whistles. Suddenly come to life. Adversity leads to achievement. Prison leads to the palace. Crucifixion leads to the resurrection. If you're living in your darkest hour, rejoice and be exceedingly glad, knowing that tomorrow is going to be the best day of the rest of your life. Give the Lord praise in this house.

Can we stand? How many of you in this audience will say, "Pastor, I'm going through one of the darkest days of my life. My family is in a state of crisis. My marriage is in a state of crisis. I have a crisis with a prodigal teenager. I have a financial crisis that's a darkest hour. I have a crisis in my health. I am not well. And today, I want to be free, absolutely free of those things that destroy my peace and confidence". If that describes you, I want you to slip your hand up right where you are. I want you to pray this prayer with me:

Heavenly Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, today I release to you every problem in my personal and professional life. You are the Waymaker. And I'm going to trust in you to bring the perfect answer. I love you as my Lord and Savior. I confess that you are the Waymaker for my life. You are the chain breaker, and I'm going to have God's answer, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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