Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.Habakkuk 3:17–18
It’s been said that worry is the interest we pay on troubles that seldom come. We try to justify worry, of course: “It’s okay for me to worry because I’m in a difficult situation.” In many ways we are all in difficult situations, some more than others. But maybe we just need to lighten up a little when we can. You might think, “Easy for you to say.” And you may be right.
I want you to consider the words of the apostle Paul, who was writing under adverse circumstances. He was under house arrest. It was possible that he might be acquitted but it was just as likely that be might be beheaded. He didn’t know what his future held. Yet he gave us some of the most inspiring words found in Scripture:Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:4–6.
I love these verses because Paul wasn’t sitting in some ivory tower, crafting nice sounding phrases. He was not lounging on a beach in the Mediterranean, eating calamari and drinking iced tea. He was incarcerated, and yet he was still able to say, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”
By the way, it’s a command from God himself. To put it another way, to not rejoice is disobedience to God. Anyone can rejoice when things are going well. But when we’re facing adversity or sickness or hardship or death, and then we rejoice, we are obeying God.
God is on His throne. He loves you and is watching out for you. So rejoice in the Lord.