Finding God at Rock Bottom
After Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him, Joseph hit rock bottom… again. Once more he found himself condemned—not to a pit this time but to a dungeon. The bottom had dropped out of his world.
And yet, as a man of God—as a man of principle—Joseph displayed enduring patience. He had fled the seductive temptation from Potiphar’s wife on the strength of his convictions, making his decision on the basis of purity and rightness. Clearly, Joseph feared God more than he feared a dungeon. He would not sleep with Potiphar’s wife because to do so would have been to sin against God. For Joseph, that was the end of any internal discussion, and it was sufficient basis for his decision.
Such a view will keep us, too, on the narrow way. True faithfulness comes not from pragmatism but from principle. It is the forming of decisions in the quiet place, without all of life’s fanfare distracting us. It is obeying despite the consequences. It is being so resolved to be a man or woman of God that when the pressure to sin is greatest or when everything comes crashing down on us, we know how to respond.
As Joseph endured wrongful suffering, God demonstrated His love by granting him favor with his jailer. There is nothing in the narrative to suggest that Joseph tried to manipulate the circumstances to his own end—and even if Joseph had been looking around for a friend or ally, he never would have anticipated that the prison warder would fill that role! But God had other ideas. The Lord’s presence remains with His people even in the most extreme circumstances.
From time to time, we all feel as if we are in the dungeon—a new low in our lives—and are confined by chilling isolation. Maybe that’s you today. Maybe you, like Joseph, have been the victim of false accusations or are counting the cost of your determination to obey your Lord, or maybe something entirely different is weighing down your weary soul. No matter what, the Lord knows. He has never been taken by surprise, and He loves you with an everlasting love. His love is steadfast and is not changed by circumstances. He loves you enough to have walked through the dungeon of death and the terror of hell in order that you need never do so. Take comfort in knowing that, as the prophet Zechariah declared, “he who touches you touches the apple of [God’s] eye” (Zechariah 2:8).
Jesus Calms a Storm
22One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, 23and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”
Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon
26Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes,2 which is opposite Galilee. 27When Jesus3 had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. 28When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” 29For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.) 30Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. 31And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. 32Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. 33Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.
34When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 36And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed4 man had been healed. 37Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. 38The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39“Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.
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