Session 46

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.

46 of 48

Devotionals From This Study

to Discover More

Session 1

How much beauty do you miss every day?

Parents who take walks with young children know any walk with a toddler will be a long one. Toddlers stop whenever something attract...

Read Devotional

Session 2

How to survive an identity crisis

Identity is an all-consuming word. We use our identity to define how we perceive ourselves, what choices we make, and how we portray ours...

Read Devotional

Session 3

What to remember when you think you don’t have time for rest

When was the last time you rested? When was the last time you celebrated a job well done and said "no" to worry? God wants us to live lik...

Read Devotional

Session 4

Four ways the husband and wife bond is unlike any other

At McGill University Medical Center, in Montreal, Donald Hebb isolated volunteers and limited stimulation to their senses. His experiment...

Read Devotional

Session 5

One time compromise is not OK

Compromise is often encouraged. But, not when it comes to sin. Every sin starts with one seemingly small, harmless compromise. A decisio...

Read Devotional

Session 6

God has a question for you

We’ve all stood in Adam’s shoes, thinking we’re getting away with something that doesn’t seem too bad. Our stomac...

Read Devotional

Session 7

What does God really want?

What does God really want from me? Until we answer that question, it’s like working a jigsaw puzzle in the dark. There is a picture...

Read Devotional

Session 8

Are you making the most of your time?

Was her birthday really yesterday, and I forgot to call? How did this deadline sneak up so quickly?    We’ve all been t...

Read Devotional

Session 9

What to do when following Jesus feels foolish

Do you trust God? Most followers of Jesus would answer “yes” without even pausing to consider the question. But, do we reall...

Read Devotional

Session 10

Ever wonder why God showed you mercy?

Have you ever wondered why God would choose to save you? Why does He choose to give us mercy instead of punishing us with death? &nb...

Read Devotional

Session 11

Are you tired of waiting?

Imagine you have been on a long road trip. You’ve been in the car with your entire family and even your dog, Gizmo. Imagine you&rsq...

Read Devotional

Session 12

Need proof that God keeps His promises?

Not too long ago, South Carolina experienced the kind of flooding that only happens once every thousand years. There was loss of life, pr...

Read Devotional

Session 13

The best way to handle someone else’s mistake

We don’t like it when others call attention to our mistakes. Yet, how often do we call attention to others when they mess up? Maybe...

Read Devotional

Session 14

What are you building your life on?

One more promotion, and then I can work fewer hours. The payments will be a stretch, but it’s the exact car I’ve been wantin...

Read Devotional

Session 15

God cares about the big and small stuff in your life

I know God is calling me to this job, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to cover all my bills. God promises to take care of my...

Read Devotional

Session 16

How to set the stage for blessing

Every year the stage is set for the NFL Draft. Players wait in the green room to hear their name called. The joy on each player’s f...

Read Devotional

Session 17

What to do when friends walk away from God

Think of someone you used to follow God with. Perhaps it’s a friend you attended a Bible study with, a relative you grew up with, o...

Read Devotional

Session 18

God doesn’t lie

Have you ever felt lost, alone or afraid? Maybe a job loss has you scared about the future. Maybe strain in your marriage has you feelin...

Read Devotional

Session 19

What to do when God seems to be taking His time

Have you ever wanted something so badly you had to get your hands on it before it was released? Maybe, it was getting the newest iPhone b...

Read Devotional

Session 20

You are not alone in your pain

Lost and desperate, our only defense is to run away from our problems. Our problems—ranging from the death of a loved one to someon...

Read Devotional

Session 21

What do you need to let go of?

You have something great — a relationship, friendship, or position at work. If God told you to give that up, would you? It wouldn&r...

Read Devotional

Session 22

How do you handle the impossible?

Have you ever felt stuck in a season of life—confused about where to go to school or what major to choose, unsure when you’ll...

Read Devotional

Session 23

You aren’t who you used to be

We have all been in a rough situation. We know it is not good, but we find it hard to leave. Maybe you have a group of friends, a relatio...

Read Devotional

Session 24

Who to call when you hit rock bottom

Here we are again. We are fighting the same sin again feeling so beat up, so unworthy. We have tried and tried; we have prayed and prayed...

Read Devotional

Session 25

Put your belief into practice

A group of children dare their friend to climb to the top of the highest tree in the park. Everyone thinks this is a great idea—exc...

Read Devotional

Session 26

What you need to know about God’s timing

How do you feel when you hear “in God’s time”? Frustrated, like you’ll have to wait forever? Why do we assume wa...

Read Devotional

Session 27

One time desperation is a good thing

Sometimes we do crazy things when we feel desperate. When anxiety becomes overwhelming or temptation becomes too great, we can throw ever...

Read Devotional

Session 28

When opportunity comes, opposition often follows

It’s easy to follow Jesus when life is full of open doors and opportunity. But, what about when we face obstacles and opposition&md...

Read Devotional

Session 29

What to do when you know you’ve messed up

Have you ever done something you knew was wrong, but rather than speak up you went along with the plan? That’s what happens to Jaco...

Read Devotional

Session 30

The proper response to sin

forgiveness repentance

How do you react when you are confronted with your sin? Do you try to excuse or make up for your sin? Or, do you feel genuine remorse tha...

Read Devotional

Session 31

How to break the hold jealousy has on your life

When you have siblings, growing up is a constant battle of who can get the best of the other one. Whether it’s whose turn it is to ...

Read Devotional

Session 32

God wants a relationship with you

One of the “superstar” families of the Bible would have to be Abraham, his wife Sarah, their maid Hagar, and their children, ...

Read Devotional

Session 33

Are you willing to work for it?

With the touch of a button, we can tweet, post, access, purchase, communicate, and create. We can say what we want when we want and buy ...

Read Devotional

Session 34

God is always faithful


When the pregnancy tests all come back negative, when it would be easier to cut corners at work, when our bank balance doesn’t...

Read Devotional

Session 35

How to know God’s will

discipleship God's will

Most of us would love to hear the audible voice of God. But let’s be real: Even if God spoke to us audibly, we would probably still...

Read Devotional

Session 36

Wrestling with the right things


The night before Jacob is to reunite with his brother, Esau, Jacob sends his family and servants ahead of him and spends the night wrestl...

Read Devotional

Session 37

Your life is never beyond repair

salvation forgiveness suffering

Flipping is where someone takes something that seems beyond repair and restores it to better than its original state. The flipper has a u...

Read Devotional

Session 38

Don’t let temptation win


What tempts us is unique to each of us. It could be anything from our desire to spread gossip at work to having lustful thoughts when an ...

Read Devotional

Session 39

What are you willing to do to get out this?


Jacob was in a pinch. In Genesis 34, his sons’ revenge had put his whole family in danger, and he wasn’t sure where to go. Th...

Read Devotional

Session 40

Your life has a ripple effect

salvation forgiveness decision making

We’ve all made foolish decisions. Sometimes we’re willing to admit that our decisions affect those around us, and other times...

Read Devotional

Session 41

Don’t stop chasing your dreams

planning purpose dreams

You had a vision to start a new business. You felt you should go back to school to further your education. You dreamed of starting a chur...

Read Devotional

Session 42

Your pain is not in vain

purpose suffering

Fictional characters who endure hardship and die to save somebody else are often called Christ figures. As Christians, if someone wrote a...

Read Devotional

Session 43

Finding the balance between responsibility and reward

obedience responsibility

Genesis is hardly a dull book. Filled with murder, incest, polygamy, fraud, infighting, and genocide, it reads more like Mario Puzo than ...

Read Devotional

Session 44

Give God control

trust faith blessing

God looked favorably upon Joseph, and others quickly noticed it. Potiphar purchased Joseph to be a servant, but he quickly recognized th...

Read Devotional

Session 45

The friend who never fails

jesus friendship

In Genesis 40, the cupbearer had fallen really far, just like Joseph. He had gone from being the guy Pharaoh trusted with his life to bei...

Read Devotional

Session 46

You’re not being punished

forgiveness failure

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

Read Devotional

Session 47

Are you blinded by sin?

forgiveness repentance

“Their hearts sank, and they turned to each other trembling and said, ‘What is this that God has done to us?’” Ge...

Read Devotional

Session 48

God always shows up

money provision

God often shows up in the most unexpected situations. In Genesis 43, Jacob’s family is suffering from a famine in the land. He send...

Read Devotional

What's happening at NewSpring Church?

  • Need to Know: Weekly email to keep you informed about what's happening at NewSpring
  • Fuse News: Email for Fuse parents sent on the first Monday of the month
  • KidSpring Scoop: Email sent at the beginning of each series to give you the scoop on what's happening in KidSpring
  • Read My Bible: Daily devotional sent via text from 6-7am