Prospering in a Predicament

And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither. And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. - Genesis 39:1-4

And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison. But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper. - Genesis 39:20-23

I believe we are all familiar with the story of Joseph, from the time his brothers sold him into slavery to the time he became ruler, second only to Pharaoh, in all of Egypt. It wasn't until recently, however, that I discovered a little golden nugget hidden within this familiar story. If you notice, both within Potiphar's house and also while imprisoned, Joseph prospered in all that he did.

As I thought about this truth, I came up with the phrase, "Prospering in a Predicament." You see, yes, Joseph was prospering; however, he still found himself in one predicament after another. We often have it in our minds that prospering means a lack of trouble or an ease of life, but according to the Scriptures, that is not the case. For example, if Joseph had had a choice, I'm sure he would have chosen an existence outside of slavery or imprisonment. But we know, from the outcome of his story, that such an existence would have been outside of God's will for his life.

Let's face it, sometimes it seems as if life hands us a basket full of lemons. It's as if no matter how hard we try to do God's will, we can't seem to prosper in anything. But the truth is, if we really are living out God's plan for our lives, He will see that we prosper, even in the midst of our predicaments. We must simply understand that we may not prosper in the way we expect. Chances are, in fact, that if we will allow God to have his perfect will in our lives, our prosperity will be above and beyond anything we could possibly comprehend.

Are you struggling today? Do you find yourself a slave to time or imprisoned by financial bonds? Are you overwhelmed by the tasks before you and feeling ready to give in? If so, take comfort in this lesson from Joseph. Do your part by following the Lord's will, and leave the results up to Him. He knows where you are, and He knows what you need. Trust Him to bring about your prosperity.