“I must first have the sense of God’s possession of me before I can have the sense of His presence with me.”
I love reading the account of Joseph in Genesis chapters 37-50. Even though many undeserved trials happened to him, he never took on the role of a victim. Because Joseph loved the Lord, he lived his life with integrity, faithfully devoted and obedient to God. The result: God’s presence was with him.
Genesis 39 expounds on what occurred when God was with Joseph. “The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered…” (Genesis 39:2). Others noticed God was with Joseph and that God gave him success in everything he did. (Genesis 39:3) Joseph found favor with those in authority. (Genesis 39:4) Because God was with Joseph, the leaders in control entrusted their possessions to him. (Genesis 39:4) And as a result, others were blessed. (Genesis 39:5) Joseph’s officials totally trusted him and left everything in his care. (Genesis 39:6)
Even when Joseph wasn’t in the palace, but in the prison, God was still with him. (Genesis 39:20-21) God showed kindness toward Joseph and granted him favor with the prison warden. (Genesis 39:21) Again, Joseph was put in charge and made responsible in that setting and the warden paid no attention to whatever was in Joseph’s care, because success would be the outcome. (Genesis 39:23)
It didn’t matter whether Joseph was found in a pit, or a palace, or a prison; God was with him, right by his side. Likewise, as believers, we can rest assure that God is with us in times of adversity as well as times of prosperity. When God is with us: others will notice, we will find favor and have success, leadership will trust us with responsibility, we’ll experience God’s kindness, and others will be blessed. And because of that, we need to long for and seek the presence of God.
“…If a person firmly believes that God is always with man, then even if he is thrown into the depths of the sea, he will be preserved in body and soul, and will enjoy greater solace and comfort than all this world can offer.”
Julian of Norwich
- Describe a time when God’s presence was with you, in the pit, the palace, or the prison.
- What were the obvious signs He was with you?