â€œAlthough the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herds in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.â€ (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
It is easy to be happy and cheerful in times of prosperity, when one has all the comforts of an affluent lifestyle and everything seems to be going well. The testing times come, however, when these material comforts are somehow taken away, and one feels defeated and all alone.
Except for God! Whatever else may fail, God â€œwill never leave thee, nor forsake theeâ€ (Hebrews 13:5). Since we still have the Lord (assuming we have trusted Him for forgiveness and salvation through Christ), we can always â€œrejoice in the LORD, . . . in the God of my salvation.â€
Job, for example, lost all his possessions, then his children, finally his health, and even his wife turned against him. Yet he could say: â€œThe LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORDâ€ (Job 1:21).
God has commanded the Christian: â€œIn every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning youâ€ (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Not for everything, but in everything!
This has always been one of the greatest testimonies a Christian can give to an unbelieverâ€”the testimony of a life rejoicing in Godâ€™s salvation even in the midst of trouble. This was the example of Christ Himself, â€œwho for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of Godâ€ (Hebrews 12:2). â€œFor our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of gloryâ€ (2 Corinthians 4:17). HMM