The Story Begins: The God Whose Plan Involves Suffering

The Story Begins: The God Whose Plan Involves Suffering

December 04, 2016 | Todd Cyphers
Genesis 37

The Story Begins: The God Whose Plan Involves Suffering    

Genesis 37:1-36


Hebrews 11:32-39 - And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of…who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, …and others experienced mocking’s and scourging’s…chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised... 


Genesis 34:1-3, 25  

Genesis 35:8-12, 16-19, 22, 27-29



  1. Trust in God’s plan for the future.   Gen. 37:1-11




  1. Trust in God’s process of preparing us for the future.           Gen. 37:18-28




III. Trust in God’s presence when the future seems uncertain.         Gen. 39:1-23



Karen Watson, killed in Iraq, wrote a letter to her pastor to be opened at her death: “You should only be opening this letter in the event of my death. When God calls, there are no regrets. I shared my heart with you as much as possible, my heart for the Nations. I wasn’t called to a place. I was called to Him. To obey was my objective, to suffer was expected. His glory was my reward. His glory is my reward. Care more than some think wise. Risk more than some think is safe. Dream more that some think is practical. Expect more than some think is possible. I was called not to comfort or success but to obedience.”



1 Peter 3:18 - “For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body, but made alive in the spirit.”


Faith Sheet


Series Memory Verse - Genesis 1:26-27 – “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Monthly Verse - Genesis 50:20 - “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Weekly Verse - Genesis 39:3 - "Now the master saw that the LORD was with him and how the LORD caused all that he did to prosper in his hand.”



Reviewing This Past Sunday

The Story Begins: The God Whose Plan Involves Suffering

Genesis 37:1-36  

1. Have you or someone close to you ever sought to do “good things” for God in hopes He would reward you with a smoother, more prosperous life? What was the result?

2. How does such a mind-set lead to anger or disappointment when we encounter suffering?

3. When you read the text, do you get the sense that Joseph was justified in telling his family about his dreams? Or do you see him as proud and arrogant? Why?

4. Under what circumstances might we envy God’s plan for someone else’s life rather than accept the one He has laid out for us?

5. When we try to live out God’s plan for someone else, how does that usually turn out and why?

6. What are some challenges you have faced that have better prepared you to handle future challenges and blessings?

7. What are some instances in your life where you were tempted to think that God was absent? What are some instances where you clearly felt His presence in an amazing way?

8. What lessons can we learn from Joseph’s victory over temptation and disappointments?

“There is no victory without opposition. God has not called you to a life of ease. He has called you to a life of victory through His Son Jesus Christ.” –Adrian Rogers (1931-2005)

Preparing for Next Sunday

The Story Begins: God Is Faithful to His Covenant

Genesis 41:38-57

1. Read the passage and ask the Lord to reveal Himself and His truth. (Genesis 41:38-57)

2. HIGHLIGHT a verse or truth that stands out to you and write it out.

3. EXPLAIN the text in your own words to make sure you see the big picture of God’s Story.  (Who wrote it and why was it written? To whom it was written? What is the context? How does the text point to the Father, Son or Spirit? What is the text telling us about our new identity as believers in Christ or what we are to be doing?)

4. APPLY a truth from the text to your own life. (Focus on what God is saying to you and what is your act of obedience, confession, praise, going forward, giving thanks, etc.)

5. RESPOND in prayer and go apply what God reveals to you from the Scriptures.




Series Information

Other sermons in the series