The Lord is with us! In my quiet time this week, I was reminded of when God was very active in the life of a young man named Joseph, even though Joseph had been beaten up, betrayed by his brothers, and sold into slavery. Read Genesis 39 for this reminder. Repeatedly the author tells us that the Lord was with Joseph even as his circumstances worsened by being falsely accused of sexual assault and thrown into prison. Joseph would be stuck inside that prison for over two years, and yet, “the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison” (Gen. 39:21).
If we dared to put ourselves in Joseph’s sandals, we would certainly struggle with recognizing God’s favor in the midst of terrible circumstances. How could it be that God was with Joseph while also allowing those circumstances to continue forward? Why didn’t God’s favor mean a return to “normal” and Joseph being restored back to the comfortable life he had with his family in Canaan?
I ask that question, not because I have an immediate answer, but instead to challenge us on what it looks like for God to share His favor with us. Remember that Jesus promised to be with us always in Spirit until He comes back in person (see Matthew 28:20). And yet He also promised that in this world, even as faithful believers, we would have trouble (see John 16:33). When trouble comes, whether it is a Corona virus or something else, let’s not be surprised or discouraged. Instead, let’s be encouraged that God’s greater plan is still in motion and our role is to be prayerfully in the middle of that plan. Remember that even Joseph had that perspective, at least later in his life (Genesis 45:7) knowing that God is still at work and that through Him, we will one day overcome. -Jason