...a note of introduction
Every age has its own definition of prosperity. For my teenage daughter, prosperity means someday owning a great big house with room for the large dogs we won’t let her have in our small suburban back yard. For my parents, prosperity meant being able to provide their children with a college education—something they did not receive. For my grandparents, prosperity meant owning a house or being able to adequately feed and provide for their family. In the days of Genesis prosperity was measured by the size of your flock or your crop or your family. By human standards the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was prosperous. Ahh, but here is the interesting part, God measures prosperity quite differently than humans do. God looks at us with our human measuring sticks and knows that those are not the things we need at all. We need to draw close to the only one who can give us an eternal destiny. We need to stand up for the things that are right. We need to speak truth to those around us. We need to hold fast to the words of God. We need to work honestly and diligently at whatever is put before us. In this section of Genesis we find the young boy, Joseph, enjoying life. He is very proud of his human prosperity. But God has plans for Joseph, plans to prosper him in ways the young boy cannot imagine. Joseph is on a journey—one set in motion by an all-knowing, all-seeing, timeless God who has bigger plans for Joseph than Joseph has for himself. God wants Joseph to prosper but it has to happen God’s way in God’s time with God’s definition of prosperity. For the most part, Joseph is a willing student and the ending is incredible—so much better than we ever hoped. The same thing that was true for Joseph is true for you: God wants you to prosper, but you have to be willing to trust in Him, trust His definition of prosperity, and trust the path He lays before you. In these twelve weeks you will spend some time with Joseph’s family. We hope you will soak in the lessons from his life, then open your heart and soul to the prosperity that only God can offer you.
This workbook is written from the New International Version. You should be able to answer all the questions by either examining the text or examining your life. Please be sure to pray before you begin each lesson. God is waiting to prosper you—are you willing to trust Him?
Connie Barker and Karla Taylor