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Lessons to Learn in a Prison

Mike Connell

Page 3 of 10
The keeper of the prison didn't even look at anything that was under Joseph's authority, because the Lord was with him, and whatever he did, the Lord made it to prosper. Now here's an amazing story. I won't go through all of that, because I want to pick up the lessons that Joseph learnt, and here's the deal: he's in a prison. He's got his feet in chains. He's on a false trumped up charge of attempted rape. Here he is at the bottom of the prison. Everyone hates him, despises him for what he's done, and yet he comes to the top. Now it's pretty good if you can come to the top wherever you are. That's pretty good if you can come to the top wherever you are, but you know something? When you read it, it looks like God did it all. Actually there was a vital part that Joseph played in it, and I wanted to share with you several things that you can learn, if you're in a prison.

So a prison is a place where you're contained, confined; where it doesn't feel like the dream you've got is ever going to be fulfilled; where in fact actually what you experience is opposite to what you were hoping would happen. There's some limitations, there's pressures around you, there's constraints around you, misunderstandings around you; and you're in a season in your life where it's difficult, and it's hard, and it doesn't look like ever you'll get out. That's what the prison is. See, you've got to think of it - we've read the story. We know what happens, but imagine from Joseph's point of view, he's gone through all these experiences, and now he's in the bottom, bottom prison, the worst prison of them all. His feet are in chains. There's a trumped up charge of rape. He has got no idea how this is all going to work out.

You could read the book. You read the answer - but he's in jail. What do you think he felt? What do you think he went through? What do you think he had to learn, while he was in that prison? This will be good for us to learn too, so let me just give you a few things that you've got to learn if you're in a tight place. How many know what it's like to be in a tight place? Could be tight financially, tight relationally, pressure, constraint, can be really difficult.

Okay, so here's the thing. The generation we're in today needs to learn about commitments, and holding on and persevering in trouble. See today if it doesn't work, people tell them where to put it, and move on you see? If there's pressure and trouble, people give up, because we're living in an 'I want it now' generation. Let me tell you this. The spirit of that will never work in making you a man and woman of God, so let me give you several things that you learn. Here's the first one. Number one, you have to learn to remain faithful to the Lord, when it looks like He's left you. You have to learn to remain faithful to God, when it looks like He left you.

How many know there's seasons and times in your life you don't feel God at all, don't even hear God at all? Believe it or not, I have those times too. I think: you've left me with this church Lord, and what am I going to do? Where are you, you know, and He's not talking. He's not saying anything, and it's difficult. Here's the thing, when it looks like God has left you; when you've got a trouble in your family, and it seems like there's this conflict won't go away, and you're praying and God's not answering anything; it's a choice you have to learn, to remain faithful to God, and hold onto God in the midst of your trouble.

To hold on to God means you keep coming to Him in prayer, keep opening your life to His words and His promises. It means you remain faithful to Him. I've found people get a bit of pressure on them, they stop fellow-shipping, they stop coming to church, they're already on the way down, because they've let go of holding onto God, holding onto the family of God. So number one, you need to learn to hold onto God, in spite of the circumstances; so will you remain faithful in distress?