Summary: Some us too have been dealing with life’s problems, situations that have left/leave us feeling helpless, hopeless and alone. How do we keep going when life is a pain in the butt?

Psalm 124

Genesis 39:1- 21

Life has a habit of getting up and biting you doesn’t it?! Even when things are going well as they were for Joseph bad things do happen to good people. Some us too have been dealing with life’s problems. There have been, maybe are now situations that have left / leave us feeling helpless, hopeless and alone.

How do we keep going when life is a pain in the butt?

How do you keep going when all the positives have turned into negatives?

How do you be joyful and useful to God when the load is so heavy it hurts?

Joseph is a man who has seen the highs. What all parents should never do Jacob has done – he proclaims Joseph his much loved favourite and treats him differently. Joseph receives his much famed coat to mark him out as privileged.

But then the manure hits the fan and the bottom falls out of Joseph’s world when he is betrayed by his brothers and given into slavery. Where is God when the worst happens?

The answer remarkably is there in verse 2 ‘The Lord was with Joseph’.

Then this tale of soap opera proportions takes another turn for the worse when Joseph is set up by the wife of his master who wants sex with him. How much worse can this man’s life become! God where are you when the innocent is falsely accused and imprisoned?

The answer is the same again there in verse 21 ‘the Lord was with him’.

For Joseph, you and me the truth is this - God is with us and will never leave us nor forsake us.

He will be with us on the high days and the low days.

He will be with us when we are betrayed by those we love.

He will be with us when we are attacked and accused by others.

He will be with us in the depths of the prison .

He will never leave us.

Today for all of us who have confessed Jesus as Lord we can know without any doubt the certainty of this statement - God is with us. Now I never assume that though you are hearing or reading this you have actually made that step. You may have heard the invitation a thousand times but I wonder have you never asked Jesus in? If not then make today the day you allow Jesus to live in your life and be born again. Find someone you trust in the Church to pray with you (contact me and I would love to guide you) – you will never regret. And then like Joseph you can know the Lord is with you too.

We of course know this is true – we know it as clearly as the Psalmist in Psalm 124.

Who here wouldn’t be able to join in and say ‘if it hadn’t been for God when…’

. . . my partner died, my child got sick, my husband left . . . I lost my job or house or best friend, I was left all alone . . . I was trying to stop drinking or smoking

We could go on with that list couldn’t we?

If it hadn’t been for my God and His peace I know I could not have coped with all the rubbish the devil has thrown my way for sure, I think Joseph and David and all of the saints down through the ages would agree.

I have heard non Christians say that we use our faith like a drunk uses a bottle of whisky or gin – no more than a crutch to hold us steady through the ills and pain of life.

Well of course that is garbage! My relationship with Jesus is far more than that, yet in a real sense my Saviour does hold me up and sustain me and keeps me going, and I would for sure rather be leaning on Jesus the creator and sustainer of the universe than a bottle of Bells or Jack Daniels or Gordans or the like. What about you?!

But being a disciple though is about more than just stumbling from one tragedy to another disaster – it is about being God’s positive witness in the midst of whatever storms come our way. Being a disciple is about facing the storms and not giving up – anyone can give up when those kinds of negatives hit us. But we – because the Lord who was with Joseph is also with us – can be more. We must be more than people who give up. Instead of focusing in on the negative we have to find even in the storms the ability to be not just encouraged by God but encouraging for others.

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