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—Hab. 3: 17, 18.
We see that God permits evil in the world that the world may learn certain lessons of bitter experience as to the natural rewards of evil-doing, but we see also a ministry of evil in respect to the saints—in their testing and polishing and refining; making them ready, and proving them worthy, as overcomers, to inherit the wonderful things which God has in reservation for the faithful.
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In the providence of God, He has been pleased to permit fleshly Israel and spiritual Israel to go into captivity in literal and symbolic Babylon respectively, where there was very little opportunity to develop external fruitfulness in influencing mankind in general; yet the Lord's grace has enabled the faithful in symbolic Babylon to rejoice in God and in Christ, because of their marvelous works of salvation. Certain untoward and unproductive experiences have come to God's people at the extreme end of the Age, but amid them they still find joy in the Lord's special favor, as this text prophetically promised.
Parallel passages: John 15: 21; 16: 20, 33; Acts 14: 22; 20: 23, 24; Rom. 8: 18; 2Cor. 4: 17, 18; Psa. 103: 9; 126: 5, 6; Isa. 54: 7, 8; 61: 2, 3; Phil. 4: 4; 1Thes. 5: 16; 1Pet. 1: 6; 4: 13, 14; 5: 10.
Questions: Have I this week rejoiced in tribulations? What helped or hindered? In what did it result?
"YET WILL I REJOICE IN THE LORD"
THOUGH the fig tree shall not blossom,
Though no fruit be in the vines,
Though the fields shall yield no fruitage,
Of the herd there be no signs—
Yet I'll joy in God's salvation,
As my faith in Him reclines.
While the nations reel and stagger,
And the Dove of Peace has fled,
While the land and sea are groaning
'Neath the burden of their dead—
Yet, amid the awful tumult,
I rejoice and lift my head!
Though the vision seem to tarry,
And the waiting time prolong,
Though my faith be sorely tested
In the conflict fierce and strong,
Yet His grace will be sufficient,
And the burden of my song!
Though He slay me, I will trust Him,
Though my very heart He break,
For I know with loving wisdom
He has planned the way I take—
Thus my dying breath shall bless Him,
And I'll praise Him when I wake!
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