Thrive On The Inside

Do you feel sometimes that life is unfair? What do you do when life is unfair? We’ve been going through a series called THRIVE. We learnt that in this year when many are planning to survive; in this year when many are hoping to just get by; God doesn’t want us to survive – He wants us to thrive!

Genesis 45:4-11 Today, it is from the amazing story of Joseph that we get our final two keys for thriving in 2012.

1. VALUE ADD ALWAYS
If anybody throughout history has ever had a reason to believe life was unfair, it certainly would be Joseph. Life just seemed to go from bad to worse. He endured a nightmare took place over 17 years! It must have felt like his whole youth was wasted. Unfair!

What is your response when life is unfair? When you feel taken advantage of? When things don’t work out like you think they should? Our natural response is to feel powerless and helpless. And then our survival instincts kick in. For some, it’s attack. We angrily look for someone to blame and bile about. For others it’s withdrawal; we shrink into our shells and just feel sorry for ourselves. Some of us respond with bitterness and suspicion.

Joseph’s response to life’s unfairness was completely different. In whatever difficult situation he found himself, he decided to add value. As a slave, he could have done his work sullenly and half-heartedly. Instead he chose to add value in his position. He decided to become the best houseboy ever! As a result, Gen.39:6 tells us that this senior government ‘left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate’/ Later on in prison, he could have chosen to complain and survive. But instead he decided add value by becoming the MVP (Most Valuable Prisoner). Gen.39:22 says, ‘So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there’. No wonder then that when he left the prison and was introduced to the king, Gen.41:41 says, ‘So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt”’. And 41.44 says ‘Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all of Egypt”’.

Along the road of his misfortune, Joseph developed an attitude that caused him to add value wherever he was, and as a result he thrived. His situation did not affect his attitude. He threw away the victim mentality that plagues many people in difficult times. As a result, even when success came, it just confirmed who he already was. A thriver! I learn from Joseph that thriving is not about your gifting or your position or your salary or the car you drive. There are people who will get all these things and yet remain fear-driven survivors. Thriving has nothing to do with the circumstances or challenges around you. But it has everything to do with the condition of your heart. My big takeout from Joseph is this:

You’ve got to thrive on the inside before you can thrive on the outside.

In your job, are you a victim of a bad boss, poor pay, difficult conditions, negative workmates, or glass ceiling? Are you known as a victim who complains and blames others? You’ve got to thrive on the inside before you can thrive on the outside!

To add value means opening your eyes to see what could be good or useful in your present situation. Joseph put his skills in leadership/administration to make his boss’ job easier. He used his ability to interpret dreams to solve problems for his fellow prisoners. These are the actions that later opened doors for him. A bad attitude could easily blind you to the opportunities around you.

You’ve got to thrive on the inside before you can thrive on the outside!

Even in the midst of harsh times, there is something that you can contribute. To add value, all you need is what you have in your possession currently. It’s not about what you don’t have or what you hope to have. You value by being the best using what you have. God is calling us to be solution providers wherever He has planted us. He is calling us to use the gifts and resources he has given us to make the world around us better despite the circumstances. You may not have financial resources but you have talents, skills and ideas to solve problems for others.

The second key to thriving in difficult times that we can learn from Joseph is…
2. ENJOY THE JOURNEY
Joseph had every reason to feel sorry for himself. But not once did he develop a negative attitude, complain, become bitter or play the victim. Why is this? It’s evident that Joseph understood that even in the difficult times, even when life was unfair, God was still in control. He realized that the outcome of his life would not be determined by his brothers’ betrayal, or by Potiphar’s unfairness, or by Potiphar’s wife’s lust! The outcome of his life would only be determined by God. This realization freed him from being so worried about how things would turn out and to thrive in the moment regardless of the circumstances.

Joseph lived in the moment. His thriving was not determined by his placement. He did not say ‘one day when I have a real job, I’ll really show how well I can work!’ He didn’t wait to get out of prison before he could use his leadership gifts, start networking or interpret dreams. And amazingly, those same gifts are what later made him an exceptional prime minister. By learning to manage the meager prison resources, he became qualified to handle the vast national resources. Tell your neighbor, ‘your income does not determine your outcome!’

When things are thick, many of us put our lives on hold. We become so obsessed with the past and how things could have turned out, OR with the future and how we wish things will turn out, that we MISS OUT on the opportunities and the lessons we could be learning in the here and now. You see, your inner attitude is what will determine whether you will see opportunity in every difficulty, or difficulty in every opportunity!

Many are missing precious moments of fun NOW because they are living in the ‘what ifs’. But what are the lessons God has for you in your situation now? Those who know that God is in control can enjoy the journey and thrive. They know that the end of the day, God will have the final word on how things will turn out. The outcome is assured. It is not up to your situation. You don’t have to be a victim of circumstances. You can have a perspective that says even in tough times, ‘I don’t know how this will work out but man I can’t wait to tell the story one day about how God delivered me!’

If Joseph had understood that all his tough times were God’s preparation for him to lead the world’s most powerful country and save his people, do you think it have made things easier? Probably! If you knew that God will use any difficulties that you will encounter in 2012 to prepare you for greatness, would that make you enjoy the journey more? I suspect so! So listen to this… Romans 8:28 says, ‘in all things God works for the good of those who love Hi, who have been called according to His purpose’. The hardships you are facing today, those circumstances that you could be despising today, are your school of preparation for a great tomorrow. God allowed it for a great deliverance! So relax, enjoy the journey; God is in control!

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35 Responses to “Thrive On The Inside”

  1. I love this

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  2. niko hapa Says:

    One of the many reasons i love Mavuno the word of God is as relevant now as it was thousand and thousand of years ago. May the name of the lord be blessed for ever and take Mavuno to even greater heights. Thiving it is …………………

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  3. This sermon was very relevant to me.I am this point in life where i have seen it all like Joseph.And this week i trust the Great deliverance is on my way.
    God bless you Pastor M and pray for me that I may testify my great deliverance to Gods People !!

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  4. joy is ESSENTIAL

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  5. mercarena Says:

    I love the use of the Word of God to bring out the message. Just goes to show how it is alive and ageless….

    I am taking up this challenge: To always work towards adding value and to enjoy every moment of my journey!

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  6. Reblogged this on …Mafunzo… and commented:
    I will thrive tis year.

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  7. LovingThriving Says:

    Praise The Lord, I joined Mavuno 2009 Sep during the series of SHow me the Money. Since then I have done Mizizi, joined an Lg and done ombi. I thank God for Mavuno and the transformation it has had in my life. I was in deep debt then. But i have began 2012 debt free! Halleluyah…and the thrive series….just what i needed! I am Trusting the Lord for big things! I am Holding on to my dream! I am Relating wisely (My mum complimented me on this) I am Investing Strategically (already paid a deposit for land-a plot and its not a loan) I am adding Value in my office and at school and I am definately going to Enjoy this journey knowing that God knows the plans He has for me and ALLLLL things will work for my good because I LOVE him! Thank You Pastor M.

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  8. Thank u that I can thrive by following your sermon over the Internet. coz Ii was working on sat and Sunday I missed this sermon of Joseph.
    I am having the tightest work schedule ever but am inspired by Joseph’s Attitude.

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  9. Let us learn to Thrive like Joseph we should not let our circumstances put us down.

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  10. Awesome

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  11. Pastor M..what a POWERFUL message you preached yesterday!I mean God was using you to talk to me..honestly.I walked into the santuary drained to say the least.I cried through worship and prayed that no one would see my tears…Then you walked in and just as if God was there you began talking to me!Mannn!that story about Joseph in the bible is awesome!It humbled me..so here i was just from a broken relationship,mocked by my ex, feeling so lonely with nobody in particular to tell! The office has been draining this past year with my bosses not appreciating anything i do..nobody even seems to realise what my input in the organisation is worth anymore!(sigh) I called 2 of my closest friends whom id been there for before and would you believe it, they were not available!..I strolled into church,hoping that God would talk to me..somehow…I said God if indeed you are there, please say something! And God spoke to me through you..I heard 1-Forgiveness, 2-the world is not fair anyway 3-why should it not happen to me if indeed it will shape me? 4-God will carry me through 5-thrive on the inside and i will thrive on the outside.

    Pastor M..God is indeed awesome! I mean God is just the best ..spoke to me from the begining to the end! I walked out feeling so much joy inside even though i was not neccessarily happy..

    God bless you. I will one day tell you all the story…the testimony!

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  12. Every new day is a joy for me…i have so much to live for….and i am thoroughly enjoying my journey….This is my year !!!!!!!!TO THRIVE!!!!! I have no doubt………i am plugging into Gods purpose and i am high on His love for me.Pastor M,you were on FIRE yesterday…Enjoy the journey.

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  13. Wow I’m going to enjoy the journey.
    Pastor M thank you do much for bringing forth this word.

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  14. Sir Jilted Says:

    I have been feeling Adele`s album-21 on how the person you love deeply can really take you for granted,put your heart in a blender and rendering it into smithrens.That`s been my story…always being caught out of my zone,lacking the so called joy and happiness and enving people in love…The sermon was reassuring,something powerfull to nourish my anguish and hurt.Atleast ,i am now looking forward to new beginnings because i know i am not alone and i cant wait to share with my LG.

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  15. Macharia R. Says:

    Indeed, God is in control! Praise His name!

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  16. Ann Njogu Says:

    thank you so much pastor M 4 ur encouraging sermons i just started 2 come 2 mavuno last wknd was my 2nd sato service u rilly encouraged me especially with the ”enjoy the journey message….at times i feel as thou God has 4gotten me nothing seems 2 work in my life on the outside am always smiling 4 pple 2 see am happy but deep inside am a wreck i want 2 know more abt God i want 2 get closer 2 him i want 2 change my lifestyle i feel so empty i need Gods guidance n feel God is withholding his blessings 4 me so i can turn my life around pls prsy 4 me to get courage 2 make the right decision thank you God bless n continue with the good work ur doing …pls dnt mention my name on church

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    • Hi Ann. I really feel you, but i want to encourage you to plug in to Mizizi, you will not only connect with God and enter your purpose, but you will find exciting friends who will genuinely walk with you.

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  17. Angela Akaranga Says:

    Am set to join mizizi next week tuesday at parklands baptist. I cant wait, i hope am not too late

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  18. Heee Pastor M..as always i heard God’s voice in your message and i was moved. By God’s grace i was able to drag my boyfriend to church and God is truly amazing. Our relationship has changed and shifted, gained direction and focus and even his heart is softenin to God’s voice. Wat can i say, I am awed by God.
    thats not all, i have had a difficult tym at my job, what with bad pay, colleagues who complain endlessly, bosses who seem helpless to bring change and an economic situation that makes matters worse! Then bam!! Joseph’s attitude shifted my view and today i wanna share this message with my colleagues. Please pray for me and for audience.
    may God keep using you to minister to His people…look out for the testimonies to come.

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  19. Awesome…Awesome…and THRIVE we will…what a year and what a place to a place to be, cant wait to testify about God’s goodness and greatness…To God be all the Glory…Thank you Pastor M.

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  20. THRIVE IT IS! Says:

    I didnt make it to the sermon last sunday but got on to the website and just reading this reminded me of how far God has brought me….two years ago i had no job and i was a drunk!! Today is a different story…am employed now although i struggle with colleagues that complain and sometimes take advantge….infact sometimes i have joined in to complain when frustrations get to me….i report everyday to work mon-sat 6am without fail while eveyone else waltz’s in 8:30am or even 9am and to some point asking me to cover them when they don’t show up……but i refuse to conform to their ways and still report to date at 6am…..i have continued to search for a better job as this one doesnt pay very well and guess what come 5th January i got a call to attend an interview and am currently waiting to hear the Good news from the prospective employer…..My God has been faithful and i trust and believe this call will come through this week….so i will not complain instead i will continue to add value at my work place!……just a week ago i had coffee with my sis and in the same words as Pastor M…she said to me ””your income doesnt determine your outcome”’

    God Bless u Pastor M and the Mavuno church.

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  21. Pastor M think of this: Here on Planet Earth we’re not just learning the “dos and don’ts” of how to face life physically; we’re learning to face life spiritually, and when we fail or fall or rebel, we’re supposed to learn from it. We’re supposed to accept the tumbles as teaching tools.

    Think about Joseph and all the ugly things that happened to him. But, he took them all in stride, learning all the while and eventually became the most brilliant man in Egypt. How did he get there? How would you have trained Joseph to serve as Pharaoh’s most trusted advisor? God taught him through rejection from his brothers, slavery in Egypt, being thrown into prison under false allegations, being tempted, lied about, living for years separated from his family, on and on-but he learned and those lessons enabled him to fill the position that God had planned for him.

    So, why am I still kicking at the goads? Why am I still complaining, “Why me, Lord?” Why am I still comparing my life with the ones who don’t get enrolled in the ‘school of hard knocks’, the ones who slide by, never advancing, just relaxing in the hammock under the shade tree? Is that what I want? NO WAY! I want to learn, Lord. I want to face the storms of my life head-on! I want to be a ‘green beret’ on the front lines-and you don’t get there without going through severe training-without skinned elbows and knees, minus a tooth or carrying your arm in a sling for weeks-but then comes the thrill of gliding and feeling the wind in your face as you race along the avenue.

    Okay, I see Lord and I want to be trained. I’ll consider the adversities that come as merely tools of the trade, knowing that You have things planned for me that I have never dreamed of or even imagined! And Lord, I know full well that I am powerless-only You living through me can give me the ability to “perform those daring feats.” And you know what, Lord? There will be some people watching me and they will be amazed and say, ‘How in the world can you do that, Lance?’ And I’ll say, “Oh, it’s not me! Christ is the only one who can such things.” Thank You, Lord.

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  22. Pastor M, that message was on point. So many people are in tough situations, things become really thick and they develop a negative attitude. I am glad God desires for us to develop a positive attitude in everything we do, and everywhere we go. It is a blessing to know that God has given us gifts just like in Rom 12:3-8, to serve, to prophesy, to give, to encourage, to be in ministry.

    Thank God for this timely series.

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  23. Man after that sermon i was jus like “Thank you God for speaking to me”……reason being i have a room mate in school n whenever people would ask us whether we’r room mates we’d both deny it and say we are surviving together cz of the hard times we’r facing…since the service i’v learnt to thrive n m so gona do that the whole of this year until i enjoy the journey……..

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  24. Hi,
    I have been through hell(pardon my language ) in 2011.An abusive husband, broken marriage,then the proverbial straw that broke the camels back,I lost my job.I was so DEPRESSED,I just wanted to die.Then a friend took me to Mavuno last Sunday and honestly, God is good. I felt such peace even in the midst of my turmoil. I will come back next Sunday and hopefully make Mavuno my church. God bless Pastor Chris,Pastor Muriithi and Pastor Thuo for reviving my faith and my spirit. God bless and kindly let me know more about your Mizizi class and how I can join and if you have scholarships.Mwaaahh!

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  25. It’s interesting how God’s teachings from ages and ages ago connect us with the realities of this world…In essence, this just goes to show that no matter what challenges we go through, many other people have gone through them before us..and have come out to THRIVE..and Joseph is a good example..But as we call out to God to Thrive this year…let’s not forget our beloved country…and our beloved people… Let’s put our nation into focus and perspective….that as we thrive individually, we are at the same time, thriving as a country… Let’s pray and work for an end to selfishness, impunity, poverty, OVERLAPPING, immorality and KPLC and all sorts of challenges that we are facing as a nation…and let’s turn our country into a THRIVING Nation…one that puts its people first…one that stands out in God’s light…and one that is led by God fearing leaders…and more so…one that observes peace..particularly this year of elections….
    Lets THRIVE as Kenyans, in Kenya for Kenya!!! God bless….
    Mad respect pastor M for this series…

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  26. indeed God wants us to thrive at all times. I can relate with Joseph’s story so well as I experienced it my career. I was always given tthe jobs nobody wanted, and throu positive attitude, hardwork and dependance on God, I thrived and grew in positions.

    I am now a leader. it is my prayer that we come together at mavuno to pray this 2012 for great leaders to spring up ahead of the elections. let God raise the best people to lead the country. africa’s problem as pastor M said is a leadership deficiency. if we get great leaders, then thriving in 2013 to 2017 and beyond is expected. lets have foresight as a church and we lead the country into prayer for great leaders. lets not be reactive like others, who just pray for safe elections only. we want to thrive as a country, safe elections is just a passage.

    I am ready to be a member of the kenya thrive mavuno taskforce. lets create one and begin the journey.

    lets even go beyond passive prayers, lets even meet leaders and teach them leadership skills based on the bible. pastor M, I want to do this, lets join forces and make a difference.

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  27. africanbutterfly Says:

    So the message about thriving on the inside before I can thrive on the outside really resonated with me- intellectually. I understand what you mean, I see the sense in working for God not complaining, whining or making excuses, basically emulating Joseph l. But how do I do it? How do I let go of all the hurt and pain, and resentment and anger and and and…. I feel a mild stirring in my (soul?) Sunday’s when I sing, and hear the word, but that all seems to evaporate the minute I leave the dome. I can’t ever recall once in my life feeling the spiritual awakening I hear you Christians speak off. I told a friend this week that I feel spiritually bankrupt. Nothing. Nada. Flat line.Dead. Attending church just happens to be an activity I enjoy.
    I truly don’t think I would know the difference between the spirit moving and indigestion. I want so badly to feel real joy inside. To KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that God loves ME. That he indeed has good plans for me and my loved ones. I bought the 1yr bible, and its taken 26days to reach Day 3 of the reading. I know that that’s part laziness and part plain boredom, not to mention wasting time asking questions like did Cain marry his sister and did they produce mutant babies as a result? I did mizizi and joined a life group that subsequently died, and i found a way to internalize that as God not truly wanting me in his fold.Every single Sunday I feel like I should answer the altar call- even though I’ve said the proverbial sinner’s prayer at least 500times, and that I should stand for every single group of people needing prayer and deliverance from every form of addiction…or should I just remain standing throughout the sermons? Can God really save, deliver and forgive someone like me?Really? I’ll come to worship night- my first-, see if anything ‘happens’.

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  28. Hi Hellen,

    Great to here that you are positive about all the hard things you have gone through, we thank God.

    Mizizi just begun last week on Tuesday, you are not late at all.Kindly visit Mavuno’s Info desk on Sunday so you can get a copy of Mizizi book and get more details on the same.

    C.K

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  29. I missed Sunday service coz of lack of bus fare, only to get some coins at 4pm many hours down after the life sermon. I believe this was my message to me pastor M. Sometimes I find things are smooth other times they turn steep alternating for good. Most important is that I have to learn how to make full use of now and now because tomorrow belongs to God and apply the knowledge that my attitude will determine directly my altitude.
    Joseph, the beloved son of Jacob has encouraged me in your sermon as I picked on a sentence by sentence. I bless God for you.

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  30. Wow…what a sermon! I sat in Church and listened to all that Pastor M was preaching but it had not hit me until when he said that he wanted to pray for people who have been complaining about their families, husbands, workplace etc. I was actually sitting next to my son and when you mentioned family, we actually looked at each other…because I had complained alot as we were coming to Church! My son later told me that if I did not stand he would have stood on my behalf…Pastor M it has been hard for me and my family, from the time that I got married I have been assisting my parents and siblings until they are now grownup and most of them are stable, but guess what? this has not stopped, everybody in my family thinks that I should help and should not ask any questions or complain, last year I disagreed with all of them when I told them that they should all assist with a sick sibling that I have been assisting, I felt that everyone was using me and nobody cared about how I survived….but you know what…..the sermon spoke to me and I have decided that I will continue doing what the Lord has enabled me to do without complaining, I am the first born in our family for a reason, the Lord has given me so much strength and I will not give up. I realised that as much as I give the Lord has blessed me so much, all those years that I have assisted, I have never lacked anything and his favour and blessings keep on following me. Your sermon has taught me that I should stop complaining and continue doing what the Lord wants me to do. I have now decided to thrive on the inside before I can thrive on the outside. It is well with my heart and I will definitely enjoy the Journey.

    Pastor M…..I totally agree with you: (Romans 8:28 says, ‘in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose’. The hardships you are facing today, those circumstances that you could be despising today, are your school of preparation for a great tomorrow. God allowed it for a great deliverance! So relax, enjoy the journey; God is in control)!

    Pastor M….Always know that you are a Blessing to all of us at Mavuno. Baraka tele!

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  31. I have purposed to enjoy this journey. Be the best employee, best entrepreneur and family man despite circumstances. In this life we have to make the best of each stage , each challenge, each level with thanksgiving.

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  32. we were looking for a place to fellowship and we found out that Mavuno is the right home for us,we had the last cake of the Message THRIVE and we are clicked to wire this year into God’s hand…..many blessing Passi!

    David and Mirjam okeyo

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  33. This very refreshing especially at times when we are in trouble and
    forget that GOD is GOD no matter what His ways are not our ways thank you for the reminder

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  34. JustAMan Says:

    i’m thriving ths yr and no weapon formed against me shall prosper

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