DIG for Sunday the 13th of July…..more rejoicing, even in the really bad times…..Habakkuk 3 v 17 and 18

I am carrying on in this DIG with the same theme as yesterday, that is rejoicing.

I said it was a choice that we make either to rejoice or not, and it should not be dependant upon our circumstances or our emotions.

I was drawn to read the end of Habakkuk this evening and greatly encouraged there by the attitude of the writer of this book.

Habakkuk saw some horrendous things and the conditions we see near the end of the book are awful.

There was no harvest of fruit or olives, the fields were bare, the flocks were not flourishing and on and on it goes (Habakkuk 3 v 17).

The biggest disaster I can see here is that there were no grapes so there would have been no wine!

Joking apart, in the farming society that this book was set these conditions were disastrous.

Yet he still chose to rejoice in the Lord, to find joy in the God of his salvation (Habakkuk 3 v 18).

Yesterday I said if Paul could choose to rejoice then so could we, today I say if Habakkuk could choose to rejoice then so could we.

Even in the really bad times we have lots to rejoice in.

We can rejoice in the Lord that we have been forgiven for all our sin through the shed blood of Jesus (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

We can rejoice in the Lord that we have been made righteous in His eyes (2 Corinthians 5 v 21).

We can rejoice in the Lord that we are accepted in the beloved and been adopted as sons into God’s family (Ephesians 1 v 5 and 6).

We may be going through bad times (and we all do) but we can all rejoice in our forgiveness, righteousness, acceptance and adoption.

Because of these amazing truths we can all make the choice to be cheerful and calmly happy even in the hardest of times; it is a choice.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for my forgiveness, righteousness, acceptance and adoption and because of that I choose to rejoice right now”.

Habakkuk 3 v 17 and 18…..Although 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 herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation

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DIG for Saturday the 12th of July…..even when you don’t want to you can rejoice…..1 Thessalonians 5 v 16

Paul sometimes wrote in a rather difficult style that can be hard to understand, but he didn’t write like this all the time.

Take the end of his first epistle to the Thessalonians for example.

Rejoice evermore.

That by any definition is a simple piece of writing.

Be cheerful or calmly happy at all times, or literally “every when”.

That is easy to understand but not so easy to implement, but my friends it can be done.

You see the act of rejoicing is a choice and it is not dependant upon our circumstances.

Paul was a man who acted out this verse, yet he was a man who was under extreme persecution and pressure.

In the depths of prison Paul chose to rejoice and sing praises to God (Acts 16 v 25).

In a storm at sea Paul chose to be of good cheer (Acts 27 v 22 and 25)

If Paul could live out his verse then we can.

What a lot of us do not realise is that we can control our emotions; most of us let the opposite happen and allow our emotions to control us.

No my friends, no matter what is going on in our lives we can CHOOSE to be calmly happy and cheerful.

If Paul could do it with his “light afflictions” I would suggest that we could do the same with our even lighter ones.

My friends, storms, affliction, temptations and trials will come our way, but even through these we can make a choice to be cheerful and calmly happy.

If this were not so God would have been cruel and unfair to put it in His Word.

God is not cruel and unfair, so we all can choose to rejoice at all times and under all circumstances.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I can choose to rejoice, and thank you Father that I do that right now”.

1 Thessalonians 5 v 16…..Rejoice evermore