Joseph had prosperity of heart. Though for much of his story his physical circumstances were very bad indeed, his internal attitude remained one of abundance and overflow. Joseph’s brothers hated him because he was Jacob’s favorite. They sold him into slavery in Egypt, and then through no fault of his own, Joseph was falsely accused and placed in prison.
The most important thing to realize about this story is that even when Joseph was in prison, the prison wasn’t in him! His incredible character and faith kept him from losing his joy and his anointing even when every circumstance seemed to be against him. Prosperity of heart reveals and releases the prosperity of God in other dimensions of life. In all of his trials, Joseph was being developed to have the skills and character that would befit the position God had in store for him to fill as the second most powerful man in Egypt.
Genesis 39:23 says, “The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under [Joseph’s] hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.” Joseph had dreamed big dreams for his future, and he wanted to succeed in life. But you know the story. He faced opposition from those who were closest to him. They mistreated him, and he could have sought revenge when the day came that he had the power of life and death over his brothers.
Instead, he wept with compassion and forgave them. How could Joseph do that? Because in his heart he understood that God had been at work. He told his brothers, “You thought evil against me but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20). Not only did Joseph forgive his brothers, but he saved their families—indeed the entire nation of Israel—from the famine.
If Joseph had not possessed prosperity of heart, he would never have been able to see the power of God displayed in his life. None of his natural abilities would have enabled him to succeed in every sphere of life. Success does not come from gifts, talents, abilities, knowledge, or wisdom but through the attitude of our hearts.
I encourage you to view every circumstance of life—both the good and the bad—as part of God’s plan to prepare you for His place. Keep your heart right, and the rest will follow.