Thursday, May 7, 2020

Days Like This

Thursday, May 7, 2020The Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 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. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did. Genesis 39:21-23
Days Like ThisI really hate days like this, or at least the way it started. This has been an incredibly stressful week and last night I was feeling the weight of it. I was physically and emotionally spent. But I know what to do when I feel this way and it is to pray.  I prayed for a long time before I went to sleep and hoped to feel better when I woke up.  But there are those days - the ones that begin with the weight of oppression before my feet touch the floor.  Those are the days I hate.  Those are the days that Satan thinks he has the upper hand, and he will if I let him. I started my day as usual because even when we feel like there is an elephant on our chest, we still have to function. I know what I need when I feel this way so I started my Bible study and God gave me the most beautiful and the most pointed message to lift oppression and replace it with hope.
I have been studying Joseph, and this morning the study was about Joseph being falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison.  Even in prison, even in the dungeon, before God’s purpose in his life was ever fulfilled there are some great lessons we can learn from Joseph’s trials. 
God Was with Joseph and God was Kind to Joseph
God was with Joseph in prison – it is mentioned twice in Genesis 39:21-23.  God is with us too when we find ourselves in the middle of a trial.  We don’t usually think about that right away because we just think about deliverance.  We don’t want the lesson, we want out.  But while Joseph was in prison, God was not only with him but also showed him kindness and granted him favor with the prison guard - all part of God’s plan for preparing Joseph for what lies ahead. In the dungeon, in the well, God was with Joseph and was kind to him. The wells and the dungeons are the places that prepare us for the future plan God has for us. The dungeon and the well are necessary.  They are part of the training, but there is also great blessing in God’s presence and kindness in the darkest places. 
Divine Appointments and Lessons Happen in the DungeonWhile Joseph was in the dungeon, he was given responsibility. He was trusted because of his character and the Lord gave him success in whatever he did.  One of the responsibilities he was given was to attend to the Cupbearer and the Chief Baker, who had offended Pharaoh and, as a result, had been imprisoned. One night they both had dreams and wanted to figure out what they meant. Joseph was able to interpret their dreams. Eventually, the cupbearer was restored to his position and one night Pharoah had a dream that he could not understand. The cup bearer told him to let Joseph interpret his dreams and Joseph was brought out of the dungeon, and eventually put in charge of the whole land of Egypt.
The Blessing in the Dungeon
When we end up in the dungeon, we want out as fast as we can get there, but every step of our lives serves a purpose. We forfeit the blessing if we bury our head in the sand and only pray for God’s deliverance. The prayer for the dungeon is Lord, show me, teach me, and prepare me during this time. Fighting against the trials leave us tired, worn out and depleted. Instead, sit with God. Abide. Soak up the presence of Jesus and be delighted in His guidance. Remember that He may be using this time to prepare you for the dreams He has for you. 

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