I know that you are aware that the more problems you have in life, the more your focus is turned towards the problems. I am a walking, talking testimony that focusing on the issues does no good, but focusing on God gives new insight into the problems, whatever they may be.
This Scripture seems to promise deliverance from all trouble. But it doesn’t say that the troubles won’t come, just that God will deliver us from them. Nor does the verse explain exactly how that deliverance will come. I think that is because the Lord has already provided an answer to all of our troubles (problems) through His Son that He sent to save us from our sins. At the root of most, if not all of our troubles, lies sin. We live in a fallen world. Lots of sickness? Lots of financial troubles? Lots of…you fill in the blank. The bottom line is sin and God has already provided the answer. However, Jesus is not a magic genie that you rub the bottle and get an immediate response that solves all of your problems. The troubles we face or ones that we have to deal with just like the rest of humanity, because the world is one that has turned its back on God. But unlike the unsaved, we still have hope, the assurance that no matter what is going on in our lives, God is in control and will ultimately take care of us. He will either take us out of the situation (rare, in my experience) or will lead us through it in a way that will give glory to Him if we will only be patient and follow the path He establishes for us.
As I stated in a previous post, God has not moved. It is up to us to acknowledge His sovereignty and to wait for Him to act. We need to be mature enough to wait quietly before Him, constant in our faith and in our total assurance that He is already acting on our behalf.
No crops, no food, no animals to provide skins for clothing and meat to eat? Is the answer to throw a pity party and rail against God? Of course not! The answer comes after the word “yet.” It means “despite anything to the contrary” according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. A synonym is “nevertheless.” I think of it as “in spite of all that has come before.” So, the verse is “In spite of no buds on the fig tree, no grapes on the vines, no olives, no food and no livestock, I will, nevertheless, rejoice in the Lord.” We don’t rejoice because we have troubles. We keep our focus on God and rejoice in spite of them. When we keep our focus on God and not the problems, then we can focus on how He is is acting on our behalf, not on how everything is wrong and seems against us. God is always for us, but sometimes we focus on the problems and cannot see that God is working out a solution that makes more sense for us than anything we could come up with using our finite minds and resources.
The conclusion is that troubles will come because we live in a fallen world. But that is not the end of the story. The “rest of the story” (as a great radio personality named Paul Harvey used to say) is the most important part. God is on His throne and acting for us; our part is to wait and to rejoice. The waiting is hard and the rejoicing may be even more difficult sometimes, but the alternative is hopelessness as we focus on problems instead of on God. May we ever remember that as long as we have breath to pray and praise, we have hope! But God…