Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Christian Devotions: God Has other Plans - Genesis 39:20b-21

Genesis 39:20b-21      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. 

When Joseph was falsely accused of adultery and unjustly imprisoned (Genesis 39:11-23), he must have felt that his life was cursed and that God had abandoned him forever. Previously, his brothers had abused him and sold him into slavery. He was kidnapped and taken to a foreign land. He became an unpaid overworked servant in an Egyptian official’s household. Just when he thought that his life may have turned a positive corner, he suddenly found himself at the center of a woman’s scorn and his master’s wrath. He was thrown in prison to rot and die. Joseph’s life was a complete disaster and he was bereft of everything that was once good.

But God had other plans. He watched over Joseph and took care of his terrible circumstances. God did not abandon him like his family or wretchedly mistreat him like his false accusers. God sustained Joseph in the midst of his plight and elevated him into a position of trust and responsibility at the prison. He was not forsaken or forgotten by God. Joseph’s life was about to take on a whole new importance that would not only positively change his circumstances, it would actually change the history of faith in the world.

Perhaps you are in the midst of something that is either depressing you or just wearing you down. You may even feel isolated from God or even abandoned. Despair can imprison your spirit, but God wants you to be secure in His arms and feel enjoyment, meaning, and purpose once more. Put yourself into His hands and allow God to do what He does best: to make all things good again through Jesus Christ.

Questions for personal reflection

What problems or issues currently trouble me? Have I totally given them over to God in prayer?

Prayer:            Lord Jesus, come into the midst of all that besets and plagues us at this present time. Grant us Your gracious guidance and assure us of Your loving presence. In Your Holy Name, we earnestly pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to pastor@erinpresbyterian.org.

Today’s image is one of John’s latest art nouveau drawings called “Paper Roses.” It’s based upon the unique art style of Glasgow artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh. If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7261/7834723686_d992ea78b1_b.jpg

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