Joseph was not a prisoner of Egypt, he was a prisoner of a prophetic promise. During the entire time of his betrayal by brothers, sale as a slave, and unjust imprisonment this noble young prophet was being trained and maneuvered into a divine position with direct access to the mighty throne of Egypt.
Remarkably, Joseph never actually understood the real interpretation of his own prophetic dream. In fact, he attempted to work his way out of prison by asking the Butler (who would soon be released) to seek Joseph's release and “get me out of this house.” ( Gen 40:14). Had Joseph succeeded, he would have aborted the deliverance of his entire family in the coming famine.
It is important to consider Josephs frustration as God is seemingly deaf to his cry to get out of his circumstance. God must deny Josephs prayer for deliverance because the world needs Joseph to stay where he is. The man who is to counsel the worlds greatest power, never saw his prophetic calling as larger than the tents of his father Jacob.
Are you wishing God would deliver you? Change your circumstances? Fulfill your long awaited prophetic expectations? What if God has all along been preparing you for something different, something larger that required you to learn new skills and expand your integrity under pressure?
What if you have not done an altogether perfect job of handling the long season of seeming delays? Maybe screwed up? Fear not. The beauty of the Bible is its raw honesty. The month before the Upper Room, Jesus disciples fled and hid in fear. Peter, their most vocal leader quit the ministry after publicly denying he even knew Jesus and did so cursing like a backslidden sailor.
That's what the prophetic promise “process” does. The heat refines the beauty of your character (like Joseph,) or brings up the impurity (like Peter) so you humble your soul and get rid of it. In the end, either way, the process leads to your promotion…if you just don't quit.
This is not a bad event….this is a “process” event.