Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Everything that is accomplished by the human agent, is done through cooperation with God. Even to those who are not aware of this fact, the enabling power of God is there to make success a reality. In all of the various experiences of life, The Lord plays a much bigger role than even many Christians are aware of, and thus our passage of scripture sums it all up in three simple words "God with us". The prophet Isaiah gives us a glimpse of the same truth. Let's read:
Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
An illustration of this truth can be found in the experiences of Joseph, who climbed the ladder of success in collaboration with God. Even though Joseph was able by the grace of God to reach the pinnacle of success, we should remember that he did not do so by lying on a bed of roses. Joseph, like many of us, had some very turbulent experiences in his life, before being placed where God wanted him to be. He was sold as a slave, taken to a foreign land where he had to learn a foreign language, and he was falsely accused and imprisoned for several years, not for committing any crime, but for doing what was right. But in and through all of his experiences the sacred record states that God was with Joseph. Let's read:
Genesis 39:2 And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3 And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
One of the lessons we should take away from Joseph's experience, is that he never lost sight of the fact that God was with him. Even in his darkest hours, when he was separated from his family and friends, the Lord continued to be with him, guiding , protecting and sustaining him. But it was necessary for him to pass through some disciplinary experiences for him to understand the necessity of cooperation with God.
We who are living in the twenty first century, need to often reflect on this truth, that through all of the ups and downs of life God is with us. There is no time in our experience that God ever forsakes those who put their trust in Him. For a time there may be no outward evidence of His presence, and it may seem that He has forgotten about us, but the scriptures teach by way of solemn promises that God will always be there for everyone who has entered into a covenant relationship with Himself. Here are just a few so that our faith in God may be built upon and sustained by the solemn oaths He has taken. Let's read:
Isaiah 49:15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. 16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.
Romans 8:5 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We sincerely hope and pray that in these uncertain and troubled times in which we live, that these mighty promises of God would be appropriated on a personal level, for they were written for our admonition, instruction and encouragement, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Let us take courage then, trusting in the Eternal God, with whom there is no variableness nor shadow of turning. God bless!