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Prisons – The Impact On Us All (continued – part 3)

June 2, 2013

When we examine 1 Corinthians 10:13 as the promise that God has made to us regarding temptation there is little excuse that we can resort to when it comes to falling under temptations spell. That does not mean that we will not, it simply means that we cannot blame God for our failure. Therefore, when sitting in a place where we do not want to be, where life is most definitely uncomfortable and we feel that God is not presence, we can take heart because He is always with us.

The effects that sin can have on those around us is dramatic both to those that have committed sin in such a public way as we have and those who are responsible for monitoring us as we serve out our sentence. It is an extreme environment, the final battleground for lost souls. God shows up here in all his glory when he protects those that seek Him not through their strength but in their weakness.

There are many characters in the Bible that were put in prison. Some were imprisoned for their beliefs where they took the moral high road and those that imprisoned them were working against God. Then there were some that were imprisoned because of their actions while others were falsely imprisoned. There are even some that should have been imprisoned but were not.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to explore some of the more dramatic imprisonments. Another one that I believe is worth a looking at in the context of how God works within the prison environment is Joseph. That’s right the man with the coat of many colors. Isaac’s favored son though in later years Benjamin took over that place in his heart. Joseph, the man that was alienated from his brothers because of the favoritism shown to him by his father and was sold into bondage, though he could have been killed. Then,while a servant in his master’s household, was falsely accused of attempting to rape the man’s wife. For that, he went to prison. Today he would have been considered a sex offender.

Genesis 38: 19-23

 “19 Now when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, “This is what your slave did to me,” his anger burned. 20 So Joseph’s master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; and he was there in the jail. 21 But the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer. 22 The chief jailer committed to Joseph’s charge all the prisoners who were in the jail; so that whatever was done there, he was responsible for it. 23 The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph’s charge because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made to prosper.”

God allowed Joseph to be placed in a terrible place for something that he had not done. While there Joseph prospered and did so to the point eventually impressing the Pharaoh and eventually becoming the second most powerful man in Egypt. And you are saying to yourself that this cannot happen today. That was Joseph the head of one of the twelve tribes. The man whose bones Moses made certain were carried with them through wilderness to the Promised Land. He was selected. He was favored by God. I tell you that these types of miracles occur daily, all we have to do is look for them. I have seen them. I suspect that you have seen them too.

Why do things seem to fall in place in your life? It is true that even the bad things seem to come to point where God’s plan will begin to shine through. A light that is so bright that all of the darkness that we find in this world is instantly gone when we look toward it.

The prison that we have to fear most is the one that is in our mind. That is the prison that holds us back from trusting in God and knowing that He will be there for us all of the time. This is not to provide us with fancy automobiles because from what I have heard there are no cars in heaven. It is provide us with what we need, when we need it. I have felt contentment like Paul in some very bad situations and I rest in the confidence that God is in control and that whether I am in a four walled prison or standing in the desert at night among the stars, I know that He is with me and that His love is what I need.

 

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From → Prison Ministry

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