We all know that life is not perfect. Jesus Himself said, “In this world, ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33). We all are going to go through something, but the question is how do we hold on to our joy in the midst of adversity?

The prophet Habakkuk knew just how to deal with adversity. In the following passage of scripture, Habakkuk relayed how dire his circumstances were and what he decided to do about it. He writes in Habakkuk 3:17-19:

Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.

This is truly one of my favorite passages. Who hasn’t been in this state? Have you ever had a day where everything seemed to go wrong? I know I have, and the prophet tells us just what to do: REJOICE IN GOD ANYWAY. And what does that mean?  The definition of “rejoice” is to feel joy or great delight.  Therefore, the next question is, what is it about God that will give you joy when you think about Him and pull you out of a spiritual tailspin? Here are a few His attributes on which to ponder that will light a fire in your soul:

  1. His Constancy. God says in Hebrews 13:5 that He will never leave you or forsake you.  He’s your best friend. He’s your heavenly Father. He is a very present help in trouble. When you call on Him, He will answer you and show you great and mighty things (Jeremiah 33:3).
  2. His Power. He has infinite power to change your situation. In fact, He says He’s able to do exceedingly abundantly above everything you can ask think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Also, if He has the power to change the circumstance, then it’s temporary.  Everything is subject to change except God’s Word. He said this momentary light affliction is working a far more eternal weight of glory (II Corinthians 4:17).
  3. His Love. God loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). That means He has your best interests at heart. He always has good intentions toward you and plans for good and not evil (Jeremiah 29:11). Because of His love for you, He will help you overcome your difficult situation and come out of it as the head and not the tail (Deuteronomy 28:13)
  4. His Integrity. God is a definitely a Promise Keeper. All of His promises are “yes and amen” (II Corinthians 1:20), and He will do what He says He will do. So when a problem arises, you can count on Him to turn the situation around and work it all for your good (Romans 8:28).

To summarize, rejoicing in God requires that you keep Him and His magnificent qualities in the forefront of your mind, especially when everything falls apart. If you lose sight of Who He is, your joy is sure to wane.  Nehemiah says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Therefore, if you can continue to keep your joy, you will stay spiritually strong.  So I encourage you if you are going through a tough time today, to refocus your attention on God and His many wonderful attributes. As the Apostle Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). God will strengthen and enable you by His power to walk on high places far above your circumstances (Habakkuk 3:19).

Do you have a testimony of how you kept your joy in the midst of a bad situation and God turned it around? Please share by leaving a comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

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