GOD'S GRACE TRUMPS NEGATIVE CIRCUMSTANCES
Genesis 39:2 & 20-21, "And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian." Verses 20-21, "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."
Joseph was hated by his brothers and was therefore sold into slavery. He first served in the house of the Captain of Pharoah's guard named Potiphar. Over a period of time Potiphar's wife desired to have an immoral affair with Joseph. He continually refused her overtures, then one day he was in the house alone with her, and she told a lie about Joseph saying he desired to lie with her and he is placed into prison.
This short paragraph is filled with some difficult circumstances. Yet, with all these events, "the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man..." "...the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy and gave him favour (grace)..." Should we not learn from these verses that God's grace and presence always trumps our negative circumstances. It is easy to get caught up in focusing upon our circumstances and becoming discouraged, when we should be seeking God's presence and grace in our circumstances.
Don't get your eyes off the LORD and miss out on the grace He offers you during times of difficulty. If God was with Joseph (and He was), He will be with you as one of His redeemed children. If God provided grace for Joseph (and He did), He will provide His grace for you. As God reminded the Apostle Paul, may we also be reminded, "For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)
Remember always to lean upon God's grace, it will get you through every day with a sense of peace and victory.
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
1. Have you ever been lied about or mistreated by someone? How did this make you feel?
2. Why might you feel abandoned as you go through difficulties in life?
3. Is there ever a time when God leaves or forsakes us? What can you do to guard against feeling as though God has forsaken you?
4. God never does anything without purpose. Are you going through difficulty right now? What might He want to teach or show you?
5. Will you determine to claim God's grace in spite of your circumstances?
Your Friend and HIS,