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I’m sure there are times we have all felt as if everything in our lives were going wrong.  We pray, but there seems to be no answer.  These are very often times when the Lord is teaching us valuable lessons.  Perhaps these are lessons that can only be learned by experience.

In Genesis, chapter 29, we have the story of Joseph in Potiphar’s house in Egypt.  Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers.  He was bought by Potiphar, a captain of the guard under Pharaoh.  Even though he was unjustly in slavery, he served his master well.  Potiphar eventually put Joseph in charge of all his servants.  When Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph, and he refused her advances; she accused him of rape.  Potiphar cast Joseph into prison, even though he was innocent.  In this chapter, the Lord allows Joseph to suffer many things without rescuing him from his circumstances.  However, let’s read Genesis 39:2, “And the LORD was with Joseph…”  Let’s read Genesis 39:3, “…the LORD was with him…”  Let’s read Genesis 39:21, “But the LORD was with Joseph…”  Let’s read Genesis 39:23, “…the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.”  Although the Lord did not remove Joseph from suffering unjustly, He went through Joseph’s sufferings with him.  We are told four times that the Lord was with Joseph.  Later, Joseph would speak to his brothers about their evil deed of capturing him and selling him into slavery.  He said in Genesis 50:20, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good…”  It took Joseph several years to learn that the Lord was truly with him and was preparing him to be a leader in Egypt so that he could eventually save his own family in a time of great drought.

Sometimes when things go wrong, it is really the Lord working to prepare us for His service.  Let’s consider 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”  Here we are taught that we may have tribulations, yet the Lord will comfort us in all those tribulations.  Then, we become equipped to comfort others when they are going through times of tribulations.  Perhaps when we are going through hard times, instead of immediately asking the Lord to take away our struggles, we should ask the Lord to show us what we can learn from our struggles.

We are told in Psalms 30:5, “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Our sorrows and tribulations are brief, but they are followed by joy.  The Apostle Paul assures us in Romans 8:18, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”  No matter what it is that we must suffer through; no matter how many times things seem to go wrong for us, the glory that shall be revealed in us will outshine all our sorrows.  Trust that the Lord is with you; pray for understanding when you can’t understand what the Lord is doing in your life.  Remember the words of David in Psalms 56:3, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”  (113.4)