“But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”
Joseph had to wonder why everything seemed to be going bad in his life. Every time he did right, bad things seemed to happen to him. He obeyed his dad by going to see how his brethren fared as they cared for the sheep only to be sold into slavery. He did right in not committing adultery with his boss’s wife, which resulted in him being thrown into prison. Then, God has the audacity to say, “But the LORD was with Joseph…” This statement by God certainly doesn’t seem to correlate with what was going on in his life.
Have you ever been where Joseph was in the verse above? Does it seem that when you try to do right that bad seems to happen to you? Anyone who has served the LORD for any length of time has discovered that doing right doesn’t always mean that good is going to happen immediately. However, to say that the LORD is with us when everything seems to go bad doesn’t seem possible. Let me point out several observations as to what it means that the LORD is with you.
First, God’s presence does not mean there will be no problems in life. To think that God’s presence will end all your troubles is not to read the Scriptures properly. There are many people in the Scriptures that the LORD was with who experienced problems in their life. Just because the LORD is with you doesn’t mean that the problems of life will end.
Second, God’s presence does not mean that blessings will come immediately. God never said that you would be blessed immediately for doing right. God did say that He would bless you for doing right; He just didn’t say when the blessings would come.
Third, God’s presence does not mean that you will understand everything happening to you. Actually, you will find that most of the time you won’t understand what is happening in your life; this is where trusting the LORD comes in. Just because the LORD is with you doesn’t mean He has to explain your problems to you; instead, trust Him in the problems.
Fourth, God’s presence does mean you have help in your time of need. The good thing about being in the LORD’s presence when you are going through hard times is that you have His help by your side. The fact that the LORD is with you means that you don’t have to face your problems alone. There is no greater comfort or strength in troubled times than to know that the LORD is with you by your side.
Fifth, God’s presence does mean that you are in the right presence. My friend, it is always better to be in the presence of the LORD with troubles than to be in the presence of the wicked with no troubles. You might not have problems in the present when you are in the presence of the wicked, but you will quickly find that the troubles that come from being with the wicked are far greater than the troubles you face by being with the LORD.
Sixth, God’s presence does mean that you have God. The greatest thing that comes from being with the LORD in spite of having troubles is that you are with the LORD. Never let your problems overshadow the presence of God that is with you. You will find that your problems will not be difficult to bear if you stay focused on the LORD’s presence that is with you.