1. From a human standpoint (the Lower Story), Joseph was in the worst place: abandoned by family, sold into slavery, cast into prison (Genesis 39:20-23; The Story, pp. 29-32). From a divine perspective (Upper Story), he was in the place that God wanted him to be. How do you see God working in Joseph and showing blessing, even in the pain of these moments of his life?
2. In the darkest times of Joseph’s life we read that “the LORD was with Joseph.” How have you experienced the Lord being with you in the hard times of life? What are some signs that God is with us, even in the dark places?
3. Joseph felt hopeful when he interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s officials. Yet he waited two years in prison for someone to remember him and speak on his behalf. How do we make it through seasons of waiting for God to act?
4. God has an amazing ability to bring good out of life’s bad situations. Tell about a time when something hard and painful occurred in your life and God acted to strengthen or encourage you during the time.
5. Joseph was reunited with his brothers twenty-two years after they sold him off as a slave. What strikes you about Joseph’s attitude toward his brothers and the way he treats them? What does this teach us about the condition of his heart and the depth of his faith?
6. Joseph could have retaliated and gotten revenge on his brothers for all the wrong they had done to him. Instead, he provided for them and extended forgiveness. What makes it so hard to forgive people who have intentionally wronged us? What can we do to forgive, even when it is difficult?
7. Some people focus on the difficulties in their lives. The difficulties become the reasons they are unhappy and they imagine how their lives would be better “if only” something would change. Other people face difficulties as challenges that God is going to help them overcome. What makes the difference in the way that people deal with the challenges in their lives?
8. Romans 8:28 tells us, “In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” What challenges are you facing in your life and what would help you to overcome them?