We all have them in our lives…dry seasons. Periods of time when we endure serious trials and tribulations. Some people’s trials may be more severe than others, but when you’re going through…your trial is still difficult to you.
We’ve read what God told the exiles in Babylon in Jeremiah 29…
Jeremiah 29:4-7 (NKJV)
4 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. 6 Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters—that you may be increased there, and not diminished. 7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace…
He told them that He expected them to not only be at peace with their situation, but to make the most of it, and pray for the city of their oppressor.
We’ve also read what God commanded of servants in Ephesians 6…
Ephesians 6:5-7 (NKJV)
5 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men,
There’s not much worse on earth than not enjoying one’s freedom. Notice that God didn’t ignore the existence of slavery to the point that we were given instructions on the proper attitude if we were bound as servants. More on why in my post link….
Also consider what we’re told in the book of James concerning difficult trials…
James 1:2-3 (NKJV)
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
We are not only told to be patient in trials, but to ‘count it all joy’. Wow! I know this might sound easy to some ‘super spiritual’ people, but I am willing to admit that this is sometimes not just difficult for me, but very difficult. And, that’s okay because Jesus Himself comforted us letting us know that He knows that even when our spirit is willing that our human side gets weak (Matthew 26:41).
So, in those seasons of our lives when we are experiencing a drought in our lives…those seasons when it seems that NOTHING seems to go our way, why won’t God allow us to ‘fall apart’? Why does He demand JOY?
DROUGHTS ARE NECESSARY
Sometimes we encounter droughts to develop our character. There are times when we have to go through the valley to get to our blessing. And, sometimes our droughts are because of our bad choices…either way, we are to learn patience in those difficult seasons as advised in James, to develop our character.
DROUGHTS SOMETIMES LAST A LONG TIME
It’s easy to read about droughts and famines in the bible that last several years in one sitting, but the reality is that the days and nights of those people in the bible were just as long as our days and nights. Notice in Jeremiah 29, if you continue reading that chapter you’ll find that the captivity was to last 70 years. Sometimes our dry seasons will last a long time. God doesn’t want us to endure those periods of hardship depressed and hopeless. He wants us to learn to have joy in difficulty so we can even enjoy our lives in challenging circumstances.
YOUR ARE EXPECTED TO BE A BLESSING TO SOMEONE ELSE WHILE IN YOUR DROUGHT
How many times has someone come to you in need of spiritual, emotional or even financial help while you’re enduring your own personals storm? Have you ever sent someone away saying, “I can’t help you, I’m trying to deal with my own situation!”. God is developing us to be strong enough to bless someone else while we are ‘going through’ ourselves. You may save someone else’s life while in your storm.
IT’S ONLY FAIR
Philippians 1:29 is one of the most overlooked and under preached verses in the bible. Quite frankly it’s because no one wants to hear it, and it’s very hard to accept…
29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
Suffering, trials and tribulations are a part of our purpose as Christians. Why? Because it’s only fair. Jesus suffered and died a horrible death for all of our sins. How difficult is it to have access to all power and submit to the shame of the cross (Hebrews 12:2) knowing that some people will never appreciate it But, still He squeezed out enough joy on the cross to forgive the very one’s who were crucifying Him.
GOD EXPECTS US TO HAVE ‘JOY IN DROUGHT’ TO DEVELOP A GODLY MINDSET
Learning to have joy in our most difficult seasons because doing so is truly CONFORMING to the image, character and mindset of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
God expects us to conform enough to His Son’s image to do the same (Luke 23:34). How can you love your enemies and bless those who persecute you unless you (Matthew 5:43-48) unless you learn to have joy when they are persecuting you.
Romans 8:29 (NKJV)
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Trails are sure to come. Pray for God to help you have joy in your drought. Is it easy? No. Is it possible? Yes.
Happiness is based on conditions around you, but joy is based on the condition inside you.