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Have you ever had high hopes for something only to have those hopes dashed and all but destroyed?

I once held a nice corporate office job with great promise for advancement. I began each day with hopes and prayers for high favor, future promotions and success. I carefully had my future neatly mapped out in a five-year plan. Then unexpectedly one morning, as I sat sipping coffee at my desk, I was handed a pink slip. The company was out of funds, folding, and I was out of a job.

Suddenly I found myself having fallen—from the land of high hopes for a bright future into the land of "the least likely" for any future at all. My days, once filled with encouraging words and events, now filled up with calls from bill collectors and worries about not having enough to eat.

One sleepless night, I was drawn to open God's Word to the story of Joseph. Here was a man whose own high hopes for a bright future were dashed overnight. As Joseph shared with his brothers how blessed he was by their father, his jealous brothers, with their Old Testament version of the pink slip, "cast him into a pit" (Gen. 37:24). From there, Joseph's future seemed all but destroyed, for he was transported to Egypt and sold as a slave.

One sentence in particular jumped out at me: "The Lord was with Joseph" (Gen 39:2). I began to see the power of God's presence and how it brought Joseph high favor. The despair of Joseph's dire situation was no match for almighty God. No sooner than becoming a slave, Joseph gained a favored position in the house of Potiphar, his master (see Gen. 39:2-3).

Despite the trap of seduction and lies of Potiphar's wife, which threw Joseph back into prison, Joseph continued to walk in God's high favor. "But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison" (Gen.39:21). Undetected by the natural eye, God was positioning the very people and events—like stepping stones—that would provide Joseph a direct passageway to freedom and his promotion by Pharaoh to leadership over Egypt (see Gen. 41:41).

If you ever find yourself in the land of "the least likely"—when your hopes seem to fade for a bright future or even brighter days ahead—be reminded that the Lord is with you. He is with you in the moment where you can walk in His presence, power and high favor, regardless of what you are going through.
The Lord will be with you in the future, having gone ahead of you to "make the crooked places straight" (Is. 45:2)—assuring you, even in your darkest moments, of brighter days to come.

PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 8/6/2012

This week thank God that He never forsakes you and is always with you. Incorporate praise in your prayer time for He inhabits your praise. Ask Him to help you redeem your time and use it wisely and effectively. Continue to lift up our military and their families along with those serving the Lord around the world. Remember Israel and pray for those persecuted for His Name’s sake. Pray for protection at the summer Olympics and thank God for the testimony of those who know Him and give Him the glory. Pray for wisdom and discernment concerning the upcoming elections, and for Christians to unite in prayer and purpose for the expansion of His kingdom. Is. 45:2; 2 Chron. 7:14

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