Tag Archives: prisoners

A Series of Unfortunate Events

       A Series of Unfortunate Events                      

“I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon” (Genesis 40:15).

Scripture: Genesis 40:9–15
Song: “Safely, Safely Gathered In”

The newscast that night caught my attention. A man charged and convicted of a ghastly crime would soon be released from prison. The court system and his attorneys had reopened the case after they discovered certain inconsistencies. After evaluating the new DNA evidence, the jury exonerated him of any crime. Such testing methods were not available during his first trial, so he’d spent 15 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. Even so, the man did not appear sad or angry. Instead, he was looking forward to redeeming the time he had lost.

With advances in crime scene investigation, some people wrongly incarcerated are enjoying freedom, a new lease on life. Joseph found himself in a similar situation. A series of events landed him in an underground prison cell. Yet he had done nothing wrong. Still, he didn’t allow his imprisonment to sour his spiritual outlook. He used the situation to tell people about his faith in God.

God often uses adversity to birth a greater purpose for our lives. In Joseph’s case, he earned an Egyptian pardon and became Pharaoh’s highest-ranking advisor. Exercising patience and trusting God worked for Joseph, and it can for us as well.

O Lord, without all the facts, people are prone to misjudge. When that happens, remind me to pray for wisdom and to trust You for the outcome. Through Christ, amen.

“A Series of Unfortunate Events” by Charles Earl Harrel. First published in Devotions® © 2012 Standard Publishing. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

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You Are Not Alone

prisonerYou Are Not Alone                          

Read Genesis 37:1 through 41:57

Robbie waited his turn at the counter. A man there handed him two of everything. The khaki uniforms smelled clean but looked like hand-me-downs. Everyone staying here wore the same clothes—the colors drab, the look depressing.

He searched the hallway, hoping to make eye contact. One person smiled at him but with mocking intent. A lump stuck in Robbie’s throat; moisture filled each eye. He hated this place. He felt trapped, deserted, and afraid. Robbie lived in prison.

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 (Genesis 39:20, 21).

Prisons are not designed for hospitality. Some think of them as godforsaken places; rather, they are high on God’s list of ministry priorities (see Matthew 25:36). To God, prisons are places where God’s people can go to reach out to others with the message of His mercy, forgiveness, and eternal salvation.

Challenge for Today: Get involved with a visitation ministry. Those in prisons, nursing homes, and treatment centers need Christian encouragement.

Quicklook: Genesis 39:13–23
—Charles Earl Harrel

Pray that God would enable Christians to speak the gospel with great boldness.

God’s Word for Today © 2008 Gospel Publishing House (used by permission).

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