WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 23, 2022
TOPIC: REJOICE IN THE LORD EVEN IN TOUGH TIMES
BY T.O. BANSO
“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 New King James Version).
In human life, there are favourable and unfavourable seasons or times. Either of these can steal people’s joy. When people are experiencing favourable times, success can put so much pressure on them that the stress causes them to lose their joy! The pressure of meeting deadlines, managing success, and so on could rob them of their joy. As Shakespeare said, “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”
On the other hand, unfavourable seasons or tough times can also steal people’s joy. When people fail in their endeavours, they cannot see encouraging results from all their efforts, or they suffer setbacks or misfortune, they are more disposed to grumbling, sulking, mourning, sorrowing, weeping, and the like than rejoicing.
However, as a child of God, you must not allow what you’re experiencing to rob you of your joy in the Lord. Your joy should not be dependent on it. Whether things are going well or not, rejoice in the Lord. Don’t rejoice in the Lord only when things are easy or allow the pressure of tough times to make you not rejoice in the Lord. Don’t allow the pain, hardship, or sorrow of tough times to prevent you from rejoicing in the Lord. You cannot rejoice in the Lord by your power, especially in tough times, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul said he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him (Philippians 4:13). You can also.
No matter what you experience in any period, rejoice in the Lord. The Prophet Habakkuk said, “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 New King James Version). As far as the prophet was concerned, it was not what happened in the nation that would determine his joy. He would not allow difficulties to prevent him from rejoicing in the LORD.
You may not have the expected success in your examination, business, trip, project, and so on but don’t let that hinder you from rejoicing in the Lord. You could be going through a tough time, rejoice in the Lord and joy in the God of your salvation. Joy is one of the seven-fold fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).
Romans 14:17 says for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. You have the Holy Spirit in you as a child of God and member of His kingdom. Therefore, cooperate with the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of joy in your life. Rejoice in the Lord even in tough times. Tough times will not last forever.
It is not that you’re happy about the tough time you’re going through, but you refuse to be controlled by it. Rather, you choose to yield the control of your life to the Holy Spirit. You choose to be controlled by God who changes the times and the seasons (Daniel 2:21a). You know that the tough time you’re in will not last forever. It will soon change. And you know that God will work together for your good both the favourable and the unfavourable seasons of life. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 New King James Version). Therefore, you can rejoice in the Lord even when you feel the impact of the tough times.
The Bible says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy” (James 1:2 New Living Translation). The New King James Version says it like this: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” Why? Because when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. When your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything (verses 3-4).
Rejoice in the Lord in tough times; don’t deny Christ. Commending the church in Pergamos, Jesus said, “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells” (Revelation 2:13 New King James Version). Under persecution, the church in Pergamos refused to deny Christ. Job said though God slew Him, he would still trust Him (Job 13:15a).
Rejoice in the Lord even in tough times. Joy in the God of your salvation. The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10b). The Apostle Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 New King James Version). Also, the writer of Psalm 97 says, “Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name” (verse 12 New King James Version). Furthermore, the Prophet Isaiah says, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God” (Isaiah 61:10 New King James Version).
Rejoice in the Lord. Don’t let tough times steal your joy. Rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:16).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, empower me to rejoice in the Lord even in tough times. I shall rejoice in the Lord at all times in Jesus’ name. Father, You are the God who changes the times and the seasons; change my difficult season. Replace my tough time with a time of pleasant testimonies. I pray that all the children of God will rejoice in the Lord always even in their tough times.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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