The following is a fictional scene based on the true story of Joseph, the baker, and the butler (cupbearer) from Genesis 40. 

Joseph walked slowly down the stone steps toward the barracks. The straw mattress he had been assigned was more comfortable than the rugs the other prisoners slept on, but it was just another reminder that he was still in prison. He thought about the luxurious accommodations he had in Potiphar’s house and for a moment, he wished he were back there. But he knew this was where God wanted him. He just wasn’t sure why.

His dark eyes looked more intense than usual as he silently cried out to God.

How much longer, God? Why have you left me here in this dungeon? Neferhotep promised to help me after he was restored to his position in the palace. But it has been 6 months. Surely, he has forgotten me.

As Joseph prayed, he remembered the day that the two men had come to him with their dreams.

Joseph heard footsteps approaching from behind. He turned around and saw Ankhu and Neferhotep approaching. They were engaged in what appeared to be a serious discussion. They had just finished their work for the day and Joseph assumed they were coming to report to him before heading in for their evening meal. As they drew near, Neferhotep looked toward Joseph with his eyes squinting in the summer sun.

“Joseph, can we talk to you about something?”

Joseph took the cloth that was tucked in his belt and wiped his forehead.

“Sure, what’s on your mind?”

Neferhotep glanced hesitantly at Ankhu. He knew their reputations preceded them and he wasn’t sure Joseph would be willing to help them considering what they had been accused of.

“There are rumors that you can interpret dreams.”

Joseph’s eyes darkened. He was cautious of accepting credit that belonged only to God.

“It is God who gives interpretations. Did you have a dream that is troubling you?”

Neferhotep was visibly relieved. “We both did. Last night actually, but we haven’t been able to find anyone who can help us.”

Joseph crossed his arms. “Go ahead and tell me.”

Joseph prayed silently as he listened while the men took turns describing in detail their respective dreams. Joseph’s eyes met those of Neferhotep. He looked hopeful as he explained what each part of the dream meant, ending with the good news.

“Neferhotep, God gave you this dream to tell you that you will be restored to your position as Pharaoh’s cupbearer in just three days.”

Neferhotep’s eyes brightened. “Are you certain of this?”

“I am positive.”

“This is wonderful news. No one else has been able to tell me what the dream meant. What can I do to repay you?”

Joseph started to wave him off, knowing that it was only because of God that he was able to help. But then God prompted him to ask for something.

“The only thing I ask is that you remember me when you return to the palace and ask Pharaoh to release me from this place.”

Neferhotep was quick to agree.

“If everything happens as you say, I will be glad to speak to Pharaoh on your behalf.”

Ankhu breathed a sigh of relief at the interpretation his friend had just received.

“What about my dream, Joseph? Has your God given you the interpretation?”

Joseph’s eyes darkened and his face looked troubled.

“Ankhu, I’m afraid I don’t have good news for you.”

The sound of the guards locking up for the night interrupted Joseph’s thoughts, bringing him back to the present. He remembered when he heard about Ankhu’s execution and Neferhotep’s acquittal and reinstatement as Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer. He thought it would be days before he was a free man for the first time in so many years. But days passed and then months. His hope had faded, and he wondered if he would die in this prison.

It must have taken everything Joseph had to keep trusting God despite some of the most difficult circumstances recorded in the Bible. Every time it seemed as if the tide was turning in his favor, disaster struck. The things that Joseph endured would have been enough to cause anyone to lose their faith.

We are not given any details about what Joseph was thinking or feeling at this time in his life, but he was human just like you and me. Surely Joseph struggled with the same emotions and doubt that we all face when life is not what we thought it would be. It is during those times that we can find hope in the fact that God has everything in His very capable hands. He sees the end from the beginning and He already has the end determined, an ending that we are assured time and again is good!

Joseph had no way of knowing the specifics of God’s plan, but he did have promises from God that something good was coming. The funny thing is, those promises were the very thing that prompted Joseph’s brothers to sell him into slavery. At 17 years old, Joseph had that child-like faith we all start out with. Whether we gave our lives to God as a child or later in life, at the beginning it is amazing! We see the wonderful gift of salvation and all of the promises in the Bible and we believe that nothing could ever diminish the hope that we have found in Christ. But, just like Joseph, reality strikes and we can be sent very quickly into a tailspin, wondering if anything we ever believed was true. It is during those times that we have to remember that no matter what happens, God is good and, as long as we do everything we can to walk in obedience, His purposes will prevail.

It took 2 years from the time the cupbearer’s dream was fulfilled until he finally remembered Joseph and did the right thing and this was after Joseph had already spent years in prison for doing the right thing. But, the amazing part of it all is that Joseph’s release from prison and promotion in Egypt came at the exact right time – the time that God had planned all along. If Joseph would have been released sooner, the Pharaoh may have never called upon him to interpret his dreams. Joseph very easily could have been back home with his family, his whereabouts unknown to the cupbearer. If Joseph had not ended up in prison in the first place, he would not have been there to interpret the dreams of the baker and the cupbearer. And, if Joseph’s brothers had never sold him into slavery, he would have never gone to Egypt. The famine would have come and his family and many others could have lost their lives.

Joseph distributes the grain in Egypt. Origin: Amsterdam. Date: 1712. Object ID: RP-P-OB-45.793. Public Domain.

All of this must have been on Joseph’s mind when he said to his brothers, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20) I can imagine the joy Joseph must have experienced when he was first given his assignment by the pharaoh and realized why God allowed everything to happen the way it had. It is the same joy that we will experience if we keep pressing on, keep enduring, keep holding on to God’s promises because one day, we too will be able to look back and say, “God used everything that happened to me for good! Isn’t He wonderful?”

Has God given you a personal promise for your life that you have yet to see fulfilled? Just keep holding on to it and at the right time, God will bring it to pass. Here are some promises from scripture that have helped me. Print them out or put them on your phone and remember that no matter what circumstances tell you, God has not forgotten you. God is good. He is always good. He will never stop being good. You can count on it.

“Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.” Psalm 62:1-2

“For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord…” Jeremiah 30:17a

“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37

“The Lord is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.” Psalm 145:17-19

“Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28



* All scriptures are quoted from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.



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I am a writer, a mom, a follower of Christ, and an INFJ. I believe in freedom in Christ and that God's love, grace, and faithfulness are more than sufficient for anything we go through. C.S. Lewis said it best when he wrote, "The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation."

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