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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Prospering in Prison

Josephs faith overcame his circumstances, Genesis 50:20
As much as we'd like to claim justice here on earth, Scripture doesn't promise it (2 Thessalonians 1:6-7). 

But we don't need justice to prosper spiritually. 

Unjust circumstances can sometimes lead to our greatest ministry. Joseph is an example: 
  • Mistreated by family - His jealous brothers ignored his cries for mercy (Genesis 42:21).  
  • Put in prison for doing the right thing - the vengeful lie of Potiphar's wife (Genesis 39). 
Have you been hurt by someone close to you? 
Have you been abused, cheated, or mistreated? 
Have you been slandered for doing the right thing? 

Joseph probably had deep emotional and physical scars (Genesis 43:30), but he was an overcomer - 

He prospered in prison: 
1. He believed God had a plan (Genesis 50:20).  
2. He believed God could even use the sins of others for his good (Genesis 50:20). 
3. He always did his best because he knew God would bless his efforts (Genesis 39:2-6, 20-23, 41:41-44). 

Bible Study 

Genesis 50:20, Proverbs 3:5-6
1. The following Scripture is often recited and memorized, but do you genuinely believe it?  Think carefully before answering - do you lean on God even when you can't understand His ways or do you lean on your own understanding?

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

2. When faced with terrible difficulties, we can do the best with our circumstances like Joseph, whether in prison or palace.

Colossians 3:23: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters...

3. It's an absolute necessity that we forgive the "unforgivable" - the unrepentant as well as the repentant. God will deal with those who do wrong.

Genesis 50:19-20: But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.  

See also Genesis 45, especially verses 4-5, 14-15 

Write out in your own words that phrase "Am I in the place of God?"  What did that mean to Joseph?

copyright, 2015, Gail Burton Purath, BibleLoveNotes.com 
All Scripture linked, most Scripture NIV

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