“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6-8
The truth is that the Lord is with us…always! (Matthew 28:19-20). Knowing this, believing it and understanding what it means is vital as believers. Sometimes understanding what something is not helps to truly know what it is. So let’s look at what it does not mean to have the Lord with you to better understand. Having the Lord with you doesn’t mean there will be an absence of trouble in your life. It doesn’t mean that you will not be tested or tried. We see that truth from the life of Joseph. He was betrayed by his own brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused of a heinous crime he didn’t commit, and thrown into prison because of it (Genesis). Clearly, having the Lord with us doesn’t mean afflictions won’t come. In fact, the Bible says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him from them all” (Psalm 34:19). God wouldn’t need to be our Deliverer unless there was something to deliver us from. But we see that through the life of Joseph that God did in fact deliver him from all of his troubles, and worked everything together for his good. In hindsight, looking at Joseph’s life we can see the Lord was with him and for him, but this didn’t stop the enemy from trying Joseph. It is important to note that the enemy didn’t have something personally against Joseph, and his afflictions did not occur because of his own wrongdoing. It is vital that we know this because the devil seems to have mastered lying to people and telling them that the troubles in their life are their fault, or God’s failure to help them, when the truth is that the devil is the one inflicting the pain. And Jesus has revealed in the scriptures the reason that the enemy persecutes us. Jesus explained it like this: “The sower sows the Word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the Word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the Word that was sown in their hearts. These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the Word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the Word’s sake, immediately they stumble. Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are ones who hear the Word, and the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful. But these are ones sown on good ground, those who hear the Word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred” (Mark 4:14- 20). Therefore it is typical, as Jesus pointed out, that when God gives us a Word, Satan comes immediately to try to take that Word from us. This certainly happened to Joseph. God gave Joseph a dream…a destiny to fulfill, and hell was opposed to this dream coming to pass. Therefore it seemed like as soon as God gave the dreams the enemy went to work to try to stop it from coming to pass. We should know that the enemy is after the Word God gives, because when God gives a Word, God will certainly cause it to come to pass. When God gives a dream, He will certainly realize it! Even the devil knows this truth, which is why he works overtime to try to discourage the children of God, and weary them until the point that they give up and no longer believe God’s Word of promise…or the dream He has placed in their hearts. When the enemy saw that the Lord was with Joseph, he tried all he could to stop Joseph from getting to his destiny, but we see that God in His infinite wisdom used every tactic of the devil to bring Joseph closer and closer to his dream until finally God caused Joseph to fulfill his entire destiny! God is doing the same thing today when the enemy comes against us; God is using every attack for our good, and for His glory, taking us into the fulfillment of every promise and our destiny! So although the Lord being with us doesn’t mean we won’t have trouble, it does mean God will deliver us from it, give us victory, and fulfill every promise He made us beyond what we asked or imagined!
“…lo I am with you always even to the end of time.” Matthew 28:20