view as web pdf When The Vine Dries Up ~ Joel 1:12

Many Christians believe that they have to be happy all the time. In one sense this is true, for Christian joy should not be dependent on favourable circumstances. In another sense, however, we should not ignore the harsh realities of life and pretend that everything in the world is wonderful when, clearly, it is not. The prophets of the Old Testament discerned the root causes of problems when other people were confidently, but ignorantly, saying that all was well. Actually, all was not well, as Joel says: there are times when the vine does dry up and the fig tree withers.

There are times for us as well, when nature seems to be out of joint. Rains fail to come when they are needed, and there is a drought. Then, again, too much rain falls and there are floods. Economic turmoil leads to high interest rates, inflation soars, or whole industries are forced to close for whatever reason.

The difference then is that faith does not panic. We should ask what God is showing us, what He is teaching us and where He is leading us. We should acknowledge that we need to trust Him when the going is rough, perhaps even more than when it is smooth. Jesus did not abandon his faith even when the cross loomed before him. He endured it for God’s greater glory, and the world’s salvation.

Bro David Banda Yelulani (Banket, Zimbabwe)

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