By Greg Laurie
“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.”
It’s been said that worry is the advanced 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 all are—some more than others. But maybe we all just need to lighten up a little when we can. You might think, “Easy for you to say.”
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I want you to consider the following words of the apostle Paul, who was writing under adverse circumstances. Paul was under house arrest. There was the possibility that he might be acquitted, or he might be beheaded. He didn’t know what his future held. Yet he gave us some of the most inspiring words found in the pages of 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. Paul wasn’t sitting in some ivory tower, spinning up practical theories. He was not lounging on some beach in the Mediterranean, eating a falafel and having an iced tea. This was a man who was incarcerated, yet he was able to say, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”
By the way, that is a command from God Himself. To put it another way, to not rejoice is disobedience to God. Anyone can rejoice when things are going reasonably 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.
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