Session 34

You’re not being punished

From Genesis: A 7-Week Devotional


Genesis 41

“And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.’” Genesis 41:41Joseph was in a bit of a mess in

Genesis 41. His brothers had sold him into slavery–strike one (Genesis 37:12-36). Potiphar’s wife landed him in prison–strike two (Genesis 39). Finally, Joseph got to step up to the plate to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. But, when he realized the dreams foretold the upcoming years of famine, he had to be sure he was about to swing at his third strike. No way, Pharaoh would react well to that kind of news, right?

It’s a good thing life isn’t baseball, and God doesn’t work on strikes.

God's not punishing you; He's preparing you.

Joseph trusted that God’s purpose was preparation, not punishment. As he sat in the pits of his life, he didn’t let the darkness defeat him. Joseph fixed his gaze on what was right, no matter what. And, as God brought Joseph the opportunity, he was prepared to handle the years of abundance in a way that saved nations when famine came.
So, you’re in a pit. Maybe you failed a class, failed a semester, failed a friend or failed a marriage. Maybe you’re on strike 10 or 20. God is still there. As you sit in the pit, remember: God is not punishing you, He’s preparing you for immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine. After all, a sponge soaks up the most when it’s been dry.


  • Where do you feel like you’ve failed recently? Ask the Lord to help you see what you feel are failures as preparation instead of punishment.
  • Is there anyone in your life who you feel has failed you? If so, remember that that person may be struggling just like Joseph. God is preparing them, too. Though you may feel like punishing them, ask the Lord for the strength and faith to trust Him and forgive them.

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