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In any short story or novel, no element is as critical as conflict. Conflict makes us turn the page. Conflict makes us fall in love with and identify with the characters. And conflict is a teacher. The protagonist of every story faces conflict, and in doing so, learns something about himself or his world.

Joseph faced conflict his entire life. His brothers beat him and sold him into slavery. Joseph was wrongly accused, imprisoned and forgotten until God, in His timing, brought Joseph out of bondage to save Egypt and his family. In each trial, Joseph faced new challenges, but he remained faithful to God despite his circumstances. He flourished in every situation, from working as Potiphar’s head servant to helping in the dungeons during his imprisonment. The conflict Joseph faced was the vehicle God used to teach him, prepare him and bring him into what God ultimately had planned for his life. Sometime later, in Genesis 50, Joseph’s brothers begged him for forgiveness. Joseph answered them saying, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Joseph did not lead a carefree and easy life. He was a slave for most of the first half it. And although Joseph eventually discovered God’s bigger plan, he had to face the conflict first.

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