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. The LORD God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds' [deer] feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places.
my sufficiency is in god Published week of november 29, 2020
Have you ever traveled to an underprivileged country to minister with missionaries to third-world nationals? I have had the opportunity to do so on several occasions and I am always so blessed and convicted at the same time. You may think that sounds like a strange statement. However, I say that because these nations are made up of people who are often poor to the standard our our western civilization. Yet these are a people who are at the same time rich in gratitude and joy. I have been with families who live in lean-tos made from what I would consider rubbish and garbage. Often there is more than one family living in a room, sleeping on a dirt floor, and eating one very unbalanced meal a day. Water is a luxury and is fetched by walking to the nearest source and carrying it by hand, back to their abode. There is obviously no air conditioning nor indoor plumbing. Medical care is almost impossible to come by and clothing is very limited. Yet with all of these casual observations on my part, may I be quick to point out that I am amazed to also report that there is observably an abundance of joy on behalf of the people.
My first thought is, why? That is, why are these people so filled with gratitude and satisfaction? Ashamedly, I sometimes have trouble being thankful with more than I need. What is their secret? The answer is almost always the same. If you ask these brothers and sisters why they are so joyful, they will smile and say, “God is good! He is faithful!”
They have learned that joy has nothing to do with external circumstances and happenings. Joy is the result of something much deeper . . . and lasting. God has enabled countless Christians worldwide to “go on the heights” of poverty, persecution, and suffering. They have learned that God is enough. He is all they need. He is more than they need. With this elusive truth comes great strength and joy.
So why do so few of us ever find this type of joy? Get ready . . . I am going to make a judgment call . . . I believe it could be that we do not really believe that God is enough. We may say we believe that, but in reality we think we need God and the approval of others, or God and a great marriage, or God and financial security. Often human nature responds and shouts non-verbally that the more independent I become, the less I need to depend on God. However, if we stop relying on Him to meet our needs, how will we ever learn and believe that He is sufficient?
Here is an absolute truth: true joy is found only in God. In plenty and in want, in sickness and in health, in the valleys and on the mountaintops, God is sufficient. He is good; and His love endures forever.
Dear Wonderful Father, I have so much to be thankful for. I long to have the kind of joy that isn’t dependent on my circumstances and situations. Please help me to rejoice in You alone. Please today, show me the areas of my life where I am not depending on Your strength. He me to live in such a way that declares You God are all sufficient for my every need and desire. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.