We all find ourselves in the prison from time to time; the prison is an uncomfortable place where criminals/offenders/lawbreakers are bound, confined and denied a variety of freedom. Sometimes non-criminals are also bound in prison undeservedly as was the case of Joseph. Often, the trials, valleys and troubles of life can be compared to a prison experience. These are really uncomfortable and distressing times in the life of every child of God but they are also the means God mostly employs to teach and groom His own for the fulfillment of His purposes.
Most times, the prisons of life are just transit points to our real destination; where God intends for us to be. (Yes, the prisons are temporal; you are not going to be locked in there forever!!) 2 Corinthians 4:17 “For our light and temporary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that far outweighs our troubles.”
God takes us through the prison for a purpose because most prisons we find ourselves in are undeserved but He brings certain occurrences our way to fulfill his plan. In the story of Joseph in Genesis 39, Joseph was imprisoned for an unjust cause but further into the story, we learn it was in the plan of God and it was for a purpose. He demonstrates to us how much of a blessing we can be even in our worst conditions because He is with us even as He was with Joseph and prospered him every step along his journey to becoming the governor of Egypt. However, we do not discern this because we look and see no further than only our needs.
It is imperative for us to know the will of God transcends us as individuals, His plan goes beyond our afflictions which are but for a moment; When God is dealing with us, He is not just dealing with us as individuals; He is dealing with families, communities, nations and generations yet unborn. It will not do us any good if we look and see no further than only our needs, feelings and emotions because GOD is looking beyond us to millions of destinies.
The Lord said to Abraham in Genesis 17:7-8 “I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
God at the time did not have only Abraham and Sarah in mind, He had future generations in mind; He had in mind Isaac, Jacob (Israel), Joseph, the affliction of the Israelites in Egypt and their deliverance, He had in mind the redemption of the whole world.
Unless we see the big picture of what God is doing through the difficulties of life, the suffering, the pain, the iniquities, the injustices of life, we will miss the profound truth that God is using it all for our ultimate good and His glory. Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”
The big picture about the story of Joseph was that his brothers’ maltreatment of him was in the purpose of God. The bottom line here is the Lord used Joseph’s predicaments to accomplish His own will; God had a plan for the world and in order to fulfill that plan for the world, He had a plan for the nation Israel. And in order to fulfill the plan for the nation Israel, He had a plan for Joseph. And it all was tied together.
Genesis 45:4-8 “….It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you!”
It is worth noting that the salvation, prosperity, well being and success of families, nations and future generations are tied to our destiny; we cannot fail spiritually, financially etc. because millions of destinies depend on us. whatever we may be encountering at any point in our lives should not be considered as ordinary, there is a bigger picture to it and just like Joseph, if we will open up our hearts, if we will avail ourselves, if humility, truth and relentless faith will be our hallmark, if love will be our banner, God will be with us and prosper us, He will make us shine even in the pit through to the prison till we accomplish His purpose gracefully and gloriously.
There may be many distressing circumstances we find ourselves in, and some of them may even be unjust, as were those in Joseph’s life. However, as we learn from the account of Joseph’s life, by remaining faithful and accepting that God is ultimately in charge, we can be confident that God will reward our faithfulness in the fullness of time. Stay humbled-LIFTED!