Welcome to the final week of our sermon series called Finding Hope in Family Conflict. This week our conversation will land on the reunion of Joseph and his brothers in Egypt. We learn how God works in, through and around difficult situations, even when it can feel like everything is stacked against us.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Share Part of Your Story
What favorite songs make you feel like it’s summer?
What do you have ahead of you that you need to ask for God’s wisdom?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Have someone read Genesis 45. Who are the main characters? What are the big issues? What questions arise that may not be answered in this particular passage?
Decision to Heal
Joseph doesn’t let the difficult situations define him. What are the many hard circumstances Joseph has lived through? What emotions could Joseph have wallowed in? What might have happened if he had?
Look at Genesis 41:50-52. What does Joseph name his sons and what does that tell us about Joseph?
Joseph chose to heal long before he even knew how his brothers would respond. Throughout his life, he cultivated a healthy heart. How can a healthy heart help in a difficult situation? What do you do to keep your heart healthy?
What are some difficult situations you have gone through in life? Do you feel like you allowed yourself to heal? How can you keep healing?
Decision to Wait
Have someone summarize the drama of the brothers’ travel to and from Egypt up to dinner with Joseph. In these interactions and at dinner, Joseph is trying to figure out if his brothers have changed or if they would repeat their previous behavior. How does Joseph test them? In what ways do you see that the brothers pass the tests?
Joseph has a prime opportunity to get back at his brothers but instead decides to see if they have changed by how they respond. Who have you seen react like Joseph rather than acting out in revenge? When you are in a situation like this, what does your natural reaction tend to be?
In Genesis 42:36, Jacob says that “everything is against” him. What do you think was on his laundry list of items against him?
Jacob also had some positive things going for him. What are some of those things? Why do you think he didn’t recognize them? Do you tend to view the world like Jacob, focusing on all the things that seem to be going wrong?
Decision to Be a Healer
Joseph doesn’t acquit his brothers from their horrible choices, but he does put the outcome of it all back on God. Why do you think he could see God’s hand so clearly? How did God work in, through and around the difficult situations Joseph faced? How did God use those difficult situations to prepare him for his current role leading Egypt?
Joseph tells his brothers, “You Sold Me, God Sent Me.” What are some experiences you or others around you have gone through and seen this recognition of God’s goodness? Talk about the story of Jim Daly and how he allowed God to use his pain to fuel his passion. How does his impact challenge you to live into healing in spite of personal pain?
We may not all be in the middle of a hard circumstance. What are some habits and practices you can implement now that may help carry you through a difficult time so that you make the choices of healing, waiting and being a healer?
Today’s conversation dealt with God’s ability to take our difficult and awful situations and use them for great good. What’s one next step you need to take this week to strengthen your faith and trust in God that he is willing and powerful enough to carry this out in your life?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Who do you know who may be in the middle of a difficult life situation? How can your group come alongside them in a practical way to help?
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