Bad to Worse: God in Prison

“But while Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 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 . . . because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.” (Genesis 39:20-23)

Some of us do carry around that unspoken contract with God in our back pockets, the one mentioned in yesterday’s devo: “If I follow God, God is obligated to make sure nothing rotten happens to me.”

btw_350The problem with that contract is that God never made any promises about keeping hard things from coming our way. What did he promise us in Christ? To be with us. To never leave or forsake us. And to use up our willing lives accomplishing his good plan for the universe.

God’s best use of Joseph’s life involved allowing him to be stuck for years in an Egyptian prison. But did you notice that God went there with him? That God was kind to Joseph in prison? That he gave Joseph success there?

Sometimes God wants a loyal servant in a hard place for a very specific purpose. Joseph was willing to be that person (though he wanted out). Are we willing?

Think: When hard things come into your life, do you resent God or do you thank him for sticking with you and being kind to you even in the roughest moments?

Pray: Ask God to help you have accurate expectations of him and to be enormously grateful that he is with you even when the worst happens.

Do: Make a quick list of five bad things that happened in your life this year. Put a check mark next to each one God walked through with you.