Don’t you just love when everything is going terribly in life? No? Yeah, me neither. But we have all had those times when nothing seems to go the way we want it to. We have all had those times when we were hurting, broken, and in a constant state of wondering if God was actually in control.

There’s a guy in the Old Testament, Joseph. Joseph was his father’s favorite — something I relate to, in case my brother and sister are reading and were ever curious. But Joseph’s brothers didn’t really like that, and that’s where his life turns out to be pretty bad. 1) Joseph gets sold into slavery. 2) Gets accused of sexual assault. 3) Gets thrown in jail. 4) Helps cupbearer out and gets left in the dust. Things don’t go too great for our boy Joe.

But there is something that sticks out to me as I read about Joseph. After Joseph gets thrown into prison for a crime he never committed in Genesis 39, this is said: “But the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him.”

In the midst of all the junk going on in Joseph’s life, we get this image that God was still with him in everything. And as Joseph is in jail he continues to work hard and with integrity and advances all the way up, at least as far as you can in jail. Joseph’s terrible circumstances didn’t cause him to give up, throw a pity party, or mope around in jail, and I can only imagine that it’s because The LORD was with him. There’s no other reason a person who had been that mistreated would work and act like that.

He understood that the presence of God is better than having perfect circumstances. Or maybe, just maybe, he understood that because of the presence of God, every circumstance is the perfect circumstance for you to be used by God.

If you have the Holy Spirit within you, no matter how tough or crappy the circumstance is, the LORD is with you. And his presence is not only better than your idea of a perfect situation, but his presence makes your situation the perfect situation to become more like him and be used to show others who he is.

Take heart. The LORD is with you.