I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. —Psalm 16:8
I would like to discuss the circumstances of unhappy employment, for various circumstances can lie behind this. For some, a lack of education has meant that they will always be stuck in a certain kind of job.
Some travel considerable distances to get just what work they can find. Then, after they get there, it is really dull. They dread arriving, they look forward to leaving, and they look forward to Fridays and hate Mondays. On top of that they have to work hard and inconvenient hours. In other words, they experience a lack of fulfillment. Sometimes the way they are treated is degrading. And as for a bit of prestige? It is out of the question. No prestige. But that was how it was for Joseph, too.
But there is some compensation in unhappy employment. I don’t refer to being paid a little extra or getting double pay for overtime. I am talking here about a different kind of compensation. The Bible says Potiphar bought Joseph from the Ishmaelites who had taken him to Egypt, but the Lord was with Joseph (Gen. 39:2). I call that a wonderful compensation! Now if I can get this point across, it could change everything and possibly give a person a different perspective. Unhappy employment is not unusual. What is unusual is the fact that the Lord is with you.
One of the greatest things you can ever learn as a Christian is to remember that you have the presence of God. Why does it say the psalmist “set the Lord” before himself? It means that he had to remind himself that the Lord was there. You see, setting the Lord before him didn’t mean that by doing this the Lord managed to get there on time. No, the Lord was already there, because David went on to say, “Because he is on my right hand.” The phrase “I have set the Lord” means that David put himself in a frame of mind to remind himself that the Lord was already there. “I have set the Lord always before me.”
And if you can do this in the toughest moment and in the loneliest moment, then you know He is there. Remind yourself, He is there.
Excerpted from The Thorn in the Flesh (Charisma House, 2004).