Genesis 45:1-15 & Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32, Kenny Foster, Senior Pastor Elect The Scripture reading for this Sunday reminds us of the preemptive mercies of God in the midst of our troubles. Jospeh’s summary of his life’s circumstances are bound up in the phrase, “God sent me ahead of you.” Joseph went from being the favorite son to being kidnapped, enslaved, falsely accused and imprisoned. But then he is taken from the prison to become the prime minister of Egypt. Joseph had suffered wrongs because of other’s disobedience, but it turned out to be the opportunity for mercy for many. However, he could not have predicted that he was going to be the savior of his family, until the moment he saw his brothers on the verge of being destitute. He judged that the events of his life were God’s plan to save the lives of many. Joseph had incredible trust! This is precisely Paul’s point concerning Israel’s disobedience to the gospel. Their disobedience is the door for mercy to come to the Gentiles through the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ. Of Jesus it could be said, “God sent him ahead of you to save many lives by a great deliverance.” Jesus, the true and better Jospeh, had an unimpeachable trust in the Father! This means his circumstances are not just “his” circumstances. They were for us who would believe on his name. God had preemptively planned to show mercy by a great deliverance through Jesus Christ. How do you view the circumstances of your life? Choose to see them through the preemptive mercies of God. Then for Jesus, and because of his great salvation, will you endure the seemingly nonsensical impositions of coronavirus? Will you persevere in prayer for the pain brought on by unjust suffering? Will you pursue ethnic harmony in the time of a famine of unity? God has sent Jesus ahead of you to save lives. This sermon will help you see the grace of God preserving us in all our trouble, by showing how the tears of trouble are transformed into kisses of joy in the end.