But the LORD was with Joseph.
When I was in college, I worked part time as a disc jockey for a radio station in Waco. Part of the job of a radio announcer is testing the emergency broadcast system. You have likely heard these tests on radio or television. Somebody interrupts your program with an announcement like this: “This is a test of the emergency broadcast system. For the next sixty seconds, this station will conduct a test in accordance with . . .” On and on it goes and then the announcement concludes with, “This is only a test.” That announcement is followed by a long beep. While that is going on, those of us behind the scenes are fiddling with the dials for sixty seconds and then we come back on with this announcement: “This concludes the test of the emergency broadcast system. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.”
Before we go into a test in life, wouldn’t it be great if God would shout down from heaven and say, “This is a test of your life. For the next sixty days you are going to be absolutely miserable, but this is only a test”? Then we could go through the problem, and sixty days later God would come back on and say, “This concludes your test. Your life can return to normal again.”
We all know that’s not how God’s tests work. One of the things that make the tests we go through so difficult is that they seem to come out of nowhere, so we think we are the victims of bad luck or bad people. We don’t see the hand of God behind these tests. And if that is not hard enough, we tend to think these tests are going to go on forever because we see no end in sight.
That is where we left Joseph last week. He was in the middle of a test from God that seemed endless. When Joseph refused to give in to Potiphar’s wife’s seduction, instead of Potiphar commending him for his integrity, he threw Joseph into prison. Genesis 39:20 says, “Joseph’s master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; and he was there in the jail.” Can you imagine what Joseph must have thought? “God, I obeyed You, I did what Your Word commanded me to do, and this is how You treat me?” Day and night Joseph cried out to God, but the heavens were silent. Some of you reading this may be the victims of unjust circumstances or unfair accusations. You call out to God, but your calls go to voice mail. God doesn’t answer. You are wondering, “Where is God right now?” Joseph wondered that, too.
So where was God? Genesis 39:21 tells us: “But the Lord was with Joseph,” just as the Lord is with you right now. Even though you can’t see Him, even though you don’t feel He is with you, God is with you. God promised in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Forgotten, Forsaken, Forever?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.