Fruitful in Affliction (Genesis 41:52) - Radical

Fruitful in Affliction (Genesis 41:52)

“The name of the second he called Ephraim, for God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
– Genesis 41:52

What a statement. What a name for a child. Ephraim! “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” After all that Joseph has gone through. Years and years, and we don’t even catch it as we’re reading through the bible. We go from one chapter to the next. We don’t realize. Wow!

That was years in prison. Talk about long days being sold into slavery by your brothers, being carried off into the unknown, being thrown unjustly into prison and seemingly languishing there in many ways, day after day after day for year after year after year. Yet, on the other side, Joseph says, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction,” that affliction can be a field where fruit grows.

Genesis 41:52 Encourages Those Who Are Afflicted

Affliction can be a field where fruit grows. Affliction is unavoidable in a fallen world, but even in this, God can cause your life to bear fruit.

Oh! I want to encourage you, especially if you’re going through affliction right now in any way or as you look toward the future and you know affliction at some point is coming, it’s unavoidable in a world of sin and evil and suffering but know that God wants to take that field of affliction and he wants to bear fruit through it, fruit in your life, fruit in your relationship with him, fruit here in Genesis 41:52 in your family. Fruit in other’s lives beyond what you might even be able to see in this world. Don’t underestimate the fruit that can come out of affliction. Many days, in the middle of affliction, you can’t see it. I know that was the case for Joseph. I know that’s the case in my life, in your life. We don’t see it but just pray.

Genesis 41:52 Leads Us to Ask God to Bring Fruit from Affliction

Oh! Let’s pray. God, please bring fruit from affliction. God, there are people walking through things right now that they can’t see any good coming from this. They’re wondering, “Where is the good? Oh, god! Bring about good.” You promise, Romans 8:28, to work all things together. All things, even affliction together, for the good of those who love you and have been called according to your purpose, so bring it about, God. Bring fruit. Draw men and women closer to you. Draw us closer to yourself. Oh, draw others to yourself. Use affliction to point others to the joy, to the peace, to the strength, to the satisfaction that is found in you. God, we pray for fruit from affliction.

This Verse Encourages Us to Trust in Christ

Help us to trust that, in the middle of affliction, there is fruit that is being born. Oh, God. We know this is possible because of the gospel. We know this is possible because it’s the death of Jesus that brings the greatest fruit in the world. Life, eternal life to all of us right now. The guarantee of eternal life forever. The guarantee of a day when affliction will be no more. All that came because of affliction, because of the suffering of your son, because of his death on the cross for us. We praise you for the fruit from his afflictions in our lives. The fruit from his affliction in our salvation.

Genesis 41:52 Is a Prayer for Other Nations

All Glory be to your name, for the fruit that’s being born around the world through his affliction. God, we pray for more. God, we pray for more fruit to be born from affliction. We pray for fruit among the Iraqi Arabs, as we pray for them today, this unreached people group. God, please bring about fruit among Iraqi Arabs from the affliction of Jesus.

This Verse Invites Us to Pray for the Salvation of Others

Jesus, you purchased people for God from every nation, tribe, tongue. You died on the cross for all peoples, bringing about among Iraqi Arabs, bringing about among people around us today. Use us to share the gospel, so the afflictions of Jesus might lead to salvation for more people, even as we walk through a world of affliction and trust you to bring fruit, not just in our lives but in the lives of many others. We pray. Oh, God. We confess that you are able to bring fruit from affliction so do it in and through our lives, we pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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