READ: Genesis 38-39
THINK: How do you usually react when life doesn’t seem fair? Have you ever been tempted to blame God when things went wrong? How did you deal with those feelings? Though Joseph faced injustice at every turn, his devotion to God never wavered. He resisted discouragement when he didn’t get what he deserved. His resistance didn’t topple when he was tempted to give up. His life shows us that when hope and opportunity appear dim, that’s when our character has an opportunity to shine. Joseph is a prime example of patience, self-control, faithfulness and unflinching integrity in the face of rejection, injustice and extreme hardship. His life shows us how things that may appear to hinder God’s purposes can be the very things He uses to accomplish His purposes.
RESPOND: Why did Potiphar put Joseph in charge of his household? Why do you think Joseph was able to maintain a good attitude and find success under the circumstances? In what way does Joseph’s reaction to Potiphar’s wife provide an excellent example of how to deal with sexual temptation? How is Joseph’s response a great example to us when facing temptation of any kind? (See 39:12 note.) Does making right choices ensure that we won’t face trouble? Why or why not? (See 39:20 note.) Does faithfulness always bring reward? Why or why not? What should we keep in mind when enduring opposition or suffering for the cause of Christ? Four times in chapter 39 it says that “the LORD was with Joseph” (vv. 2, 3, 21, 23). Do you think Joseph was strongly aware of this? If so, how did it affect his attitudes and actions? (See 39:21 note.) How can his example provide comfort and inspiration to you? How were God’s plans affected by Joseph’s troubles, and what can you learn from his experience? (See 39:2 note.)
PRAY: Ask God to help you make right choices, regardless of the consequences or difficulties that may result. Pray for wisdom and discipline to recognize and run from temptation. Give God thanks for always being with you and never being surprised by your circumstances.
ACT: Don’t remain in a tempting or compromising situation, thinking that you have to “prove” your spiritual strength. That doesn’t prove anything but a lack of wisdom. Get out and go after God instead. Also, make the best of a difficult situation by keeping a good attitude and working hard, just like you’re doing it for God.