Today's readings: Genesis 39:1-23; Psalms 19, 46; 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:15; Mark 2:1-12.
I find it interesting that God never prevents any of the bad stuff from happening to Joseph. First, his brothers plot to kill him. Then, he is sold by his brothers into slavery. After that, once he gets on his master's good side, he is falsely accused of having an affair with his master's wife, which lands him in jail. Things aren't exactly going Joseph's way. But throughout all of these ordeals, "the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love" (v. 21).
Thinking of all the times in the past when I have felt stressed or sad or angry, this passage brings me comfort. No matter what is going on, we are never truly alone, because God is with us. As Psalm 46 assures us, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble...The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge" (vv. 1...7, 11).
I wonder if this is why we greet one another during church by saying, "The Lord be with you" and responding, "and also with you"?
Joseph in prison by D. Roselli