"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, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior."
In these verses, there are two "though" statements followed by a declaration. Although conditions certainly looked bleak for the writer; no crops, no livestock -- no visible means of support, he chose to find optimism. He could do that because of his confidence in God, our Savior. More than being optimistic, he found joy!
We probably can all agree that, at times, it is hard to remain optimistic. Sometimes it is hard to find that silver lining in the clouds. From where we are standing the sky looks mighty dark and stormy. That may be true for a brief time, but above those clouds is the sunshine waiting to breakthrough.
Whatever trials we are facing today; health concerns, unemployment, food insecurity, identity theft, long gas lines, whatever is plaguing us, we can rejoice in God. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." With God by our side, how can we not rejoice?
God, we come rejoicing before you today. Although things sometimes appear grim, we proclaim your promise with confidence; you will NEVER leave us or forsake us. You will remain with us always even to the ends of the earth. We give our thanks and sing your praise, joining in a never-ending Hallelujah! Amen.