Genesis 42:29 And they came unto Jacob their father unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that befell unto them; saying,
42:30 The man, who is the lord of the land, spake roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country.
42:31 And we said unto him, We are true men; we are no spies:
42:32 We be twelve brethren, sons of our father; one is not, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan.
42:33 And the man, the lord of the country, said unto us, Hereby shall I know that ye are true men; leave one of your brethren here with me, and take food for the famine of your households, and be gone:
42:34 And bring your youngest brother unto me: then shall I know that ye are no spies, but that ye are true men: so will I deliver you your brother, and ye shall traffic in the land.
42:35 And it came to pass as they emptied their sacks, that, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack: and when both they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid.
42:36 And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.
Now I want to ask you a question. What is your attitude toward life? Is it up beat or beat up?
I heard another preacher say, "Some Christians seem to always be up beat, always looking for the good, always thankful, always ready to worship, while others are always beat up."
I believe that most of us find ourselves in that state of feeling beat up at times. But as Christians we don't have to just let Satan roll over us.
I understand that each of us have experienced problems that didn't come one at a time. They came like bananas, in bunches.
But what I want to say is that it is important that we don't develop a beat up attitude.
Let's look at Jacob's circumstance. I will fill you in.
He is no spring chicken anymore.
He has family problems.
His wife has passed away.
He has lost one son (he thinks)
Another son is held over in Egypt
Now he is asked to put his baby boy's life in jeopardy.
And on top of all that he is faced with a famine that has been going on for 2 years. He is lonely, tired, hungry, defeated, overwhelmed by his circumstances. He says, "Everything is against me." A beat up attitude.
Now this is the same man that in Genesis chapter 32 wrestled with the angel of the Lord all night and said, "I will not let go until you bless me."
A beat up attitude can cause you to forget about God.
Jacob doesn't know it but God is already making a way for him. God is already changing his circumstance. He is about to be reunited with his sons and moved out of the land of famine into a place of more than enough. The son he thought was dead is now Governor over all Egypt and is going to deliver him and all his children and their families from a famine that is going to last 5 more years.
You see, because of his beat up attitude Jacob had forgotten about El-Shaddai, the God who is more than enough. He had forgotten about Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides.
A beat up attitude is just the attitude the enemy wants us to have. It is a faithless attitude and once it takes root Satan can dominate our thinking and our life.
Let's read something from the book of Romans.
Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
I am talking to someone. Because you have lost a battle doesn't mean you have lost the war.
God's Word says in 1 Peter 5:7, Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
God told Abraham in Genesis 13:14, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art.
Paul wrote in Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Let's compare the attitude that has overcome Jacob to the attitude of Paul. You might say, "Yes, but this was the Apostle Paul." I can tell you Paul knew what it was to experience hardship and suffering and pressure.
2 Corinthians 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
Yet Paul didn't have a beat up attitude. Paul had troubles, but troubles didn't have Paul.
Jacob said, "All things are against me." Paul said, "In all things I am more than a conqueror."
Maybe today like Jacob you feel like all things are against you. Well, THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS THE WAY THEY SEEM!
Jacob lived to see that everything was not against him. Joseph was not dead. He was a Prime Minister of Egypt. Simeon was not a prisoner awaiting execution. The life of Benjamin was not demanded. Jacob was to have his long lost son restored to him. Peace and plenty awaited him in Goshen. Things that seemed against him were all working out for him. God had sent Joseph ahead of his family to save all of them during the famine.
We have often talked about choices. God gave us a free will and the power of choice. He gave mankind the right to choose, and in the tests and trials of life we can choose what kind of attitude we will have. We even get to choose what kind of attitude we will have when people talk about us, talk against us, or lie about us.
Jesus advised us to have an attitude of love and forgiveness, because that's what's best for us. He said, "Pray for them that despitefully use you."
A negative attitude in any situation will only dampen our spirit, weaken us, and hinder the power of God from working in our life. A beat up, negative attitude will cause us to want to quit or give up.
But, with faith in God, a positive attitude will gird up our faith, lift our spirit, and keep us strong through the storms of life, and we can walk in victory.
Jesus never said, we would never have troubles, but he did say, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
If He did, so can we through Him!
I was inspired by something I saw on TV. This little handicapped boy saved pop tops for charity. He never let his situation beat him up, but by making a difference in someone else's life he beat up his situation.
The world needs to see a positive attitude in Christians. It's important to know that a good attitude glorifies God. A good attitude comes from the Word and spending time in prayer.
So be encouraged and let the world see Jesus in you.