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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

On the Inside Looking Out

Today’s Verse:

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. ~Genesis 39:20-21


How do you look at your circumstances? Many times, our outlook can determine our outcome. Difficult situations that do not have immediate solutions create doubt, fear, and the conclusion we are stuck. This morning, we are looking at what is one of the most unfortunate situations to have occurred in someone’s life, but whose end result was beneficial, blessed, and beyond comprehension. This morning, we are considering the importance of being a Christian who is on the inside looking out.

We see an unfair PROBLEM.

Joseph was the victim of a wrong, fallacious accusation. He was falsely accused of a wrongful harassment and was imprisoned for it. He went from being a trusted steward over a man’s household and possessions to a prisoner having to spend possibly the remainder of his life in prison. Things looked bleak and bad. Some problems and circumstances can come into our life unexpectedly and place us in a prison-like setting. Our liberties are restricted or lost. We are dealt a severe setback that leaves us feeling like there is no way out. There does not appear to be any help among our network of contacts, and we are left feeling discouraged, disgruntled, and bitter. When we are dealt an unfair hand that leaves us feeling like we are imprisoned, we must be careful not to fall into a victim mentality.

We see an undeniable PRESENCE.

In spite of this terrible situation, we see something that is powerfully encouraging: “But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” The Lord was with Joseph! No matter what problem we face or how insurmountable it feels like, the Lord is with us! Without the difficult and confining problems of life, we would not comprehend and appreciate the presence of the Lord in our midst. His presence is assuring. His presence is our advocate. The Lord showed him mercy. His presence is our advantage! The Lord gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. God’s presence gave him peace, hope, and the ability to look at his situation from the inside, and not the outside.

We see an unfailing PRACTICE.

“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.” When Joseph was in Potiphar’s house, he was a steward over possessions. In the prison house, he was made a steward over people! Wherever God allows us to be, we must remember there is someone there that God wants us to help and serve. God places us where we can have influence and witness for Him. Wherever that place is and no matter how bad that place may be, someone else there is in need of you. Joseph’s message resulted in one man being set free and being the means later for a much bigger step in Joseph’s life.

We see the unbelievable PROMOTION.

More than two years passed after Joseph interpreted a dream for the chief butler who was set free. However, God’s timeline was perfectly at work. At a very critical time in Egypt, the butler remembered what Joseph did for him and told Pharaoh about him. Pharaoh commanded for Joseph to be brought out. Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and was promoted to the second-highest position in Egypt. Joseph’s past and his enemies did not interfere with this promotion. God was at work in bringing about a chain of events that saved many lives, and brought about a reunion with Joseph and his brothers and father. Years later, Joseph testified of his thankfulness of having been on the inside looking out. “So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.”

Don’t let a confining situation cause you to lose hope. Like Joseph, trust in God’s timing and providence. You’ll be glad you chose to be on the inside looking out.

Have a faithful God Morning!

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