Humans are social creatures. Yes, even those who would claim to be introverts. We long for the ability to have someone who understands us, who spends time with us, and has a connection to us. It’s easy for us to start to feel sorry for ourselves. Life is a lonely journey sometimes. Seasons of life come and go. Friends come in and out of our lives, and change comes. But what if you never had a friend in this world beside Jesus? Would you be all right with that?
As believers, we know what the right answer is. Yes. Of course that would be fine.
But is it really true? Do we believe with all our heart that if we were left without a friend in this world, we would still rather have Jesus?
This was originally not in my thoughts about this blog post, but then as I was spending time in my personal devotions, God brought it to mind.
Probably most of you have read the account of Joseph. We’ve learned it in Sunday school and church. We could tell anyone about it at the drop of a hat. Don’t get me wrong—that’s a great thing! We should know the Word of God that well! As I was reading this account however, God pointed something out to me that directly connects with this blog post.
He reminded me that Joseph led a lonely life.
For most of us, even if we didn’t have any other friends on earth, we have our families. For me personally, my siblings are my best friends. I don’t know what I’d do without them. They’re always there to hang out with, talk to, laugh about each other’s stupidity, etc.
Joseph didn’t have any of that. He had a family, but his siblings hated him. Their relationship was strained and non-existent. Genesis 37:4 says,
They couldn’t even have a conversation together without his brothers being contentious and angry. Not only did they hate him, but they went so far as to sell him into slavery! Can you imagine your siblings deciding to do that to you? Can you imagine how much that must’ve hurt? Your own family, and they’re going to sell you as a slave.
An interesting thing to note is that they sold Joseph to a band of Ishmeelites. Israel and Ishmael have always been at odds with each other. They weren’t on good terms. I hardly think those Ishmeelites treated Joseph very well, seeing as he was a Hebrew.
What do you think so far? Sounds like a pretty lonesome existence, if you ask me. Let’s keep going though.
Next stop in Joseph’s life was Potiphar’s house. We all know how that went down. Before we get into talking about the end of that story though, let’s think about the beginning. Joseph was a slave in Potiphar’s house. He was a Hebrew in Egypt, surrounded by the false gods and idols that Egypt worshipped. The Bible doesn’t tell us one way or another, but I think it’s safe to assume that Joseph didn’t have friends in Egypt. He believed in the One True God, and the Egyptians didn’t. Even as a slave in Egypt, Joseph was the type of believer that was determined to be separate from the world and its sinful pleasures. He wasn’t going to have close friendships with unbelievers. And of course we know that he certainly wasn’t going to keep company with Potiphar’s wife when she tried to cause him to fall into sin with her.
Don’t you think he was probably lonely? Longing for a friend?
Things didn’t get any better for him, humanly speaking. He found himself in jail for a crime he was accused of committing, but didn’t actually do. Do you think he had any friends in prison? No, I think we can safely assume that he wasn’t best buddies with the criminal in the next cell. Shoot, even when Joseph had interpreted the Butler’s dream for him and had asked to be remembered to Pharaoh, the butler forgot as soon as he was out of prison.
The silver lining that we often forget about is found multiple times in the account of Joseph’s story.
Regardless of how lonely he must’ve felt at times, God had not forgotten him and had not left him alone. He was the friend that stuck closer to Joseph than his own brothers did! He heard Joseph’s prayers as a slave in Potiphar’s house and as a prisoner in the king’s dungeon.
At some point in his life, Joseph must’ve made the conscious decision that Jesus would be enough for him—that if his life never took a turn for the better, he would still rather have Jesus than any earthly friend. His constant sweet spirit through the events he endured proves the fact that he was fully surrendered that Jesus would be his portion. He chose that no matter what, he would hold Jesus as his closest friend.
Do we have that absolute trust in our Savior? Trust that even if we never had another friend in this world, Jesus would be our portion forever.
I mean is He really enough for you? Is He what fills all of your desires? If everything you have in this life—every person you love, every possession you hold dear—was taken from you, would Jesus be enough?
We need to make our minds up now that no matter what, Jesus will be sufficient. We have to purpose in our hearts that regardless of circumstances or emotions, we will be content with just having Jesus.
Emotions are fickle things. We can’t rely on our emotions. They will tell us that we are alone. That we need a friend. That no-one cares.
God will tell us through His Word:
I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.
There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Casting all your care upon Him; for he careth for you.
If the world stole every last thing from you, would you suck your thumb and complain to God about it. Or would you trust that Christ will be all you need, like He says in His Word?
Life may seem like a lonely journey sometimes, but don’t give in to the emotions that tell you that you’re alone. Stop and think about God’s promises that He will never leave us—that He cares for us, that He’ll stick by our side closer than even a brother. The loneliness will melt away when faced with the truth of God’s Word.
“The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.” ~ Lamentations 3:24
A. M. Watson