In the Old Testament book of Joel, God speaks through His prophet to the people of Israel during a time of great suffering. A plague of locusts has devastated their land and cleared their fields resulting in famine and starvation. Throughout the book, Joel commands the people to return to God, repent of their sin, and experience God’s ultimate deliverance. All of us will experience suffering and tragedy in our own lives, and when that comes, we should choose to do exactly what God commanded the Israelites to do.
First, they were to “cry out to the Lord!” (Joel 1:14). No matter what we are going through, we need to turn to God before anything else.
Next, God commanded them to repent of their sin or, as He said, “Return to Me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). We need to be sure that nothing is standing between God and us.
Finally, they were to remember that God will deliver those who are faithful to Him. God said, “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord, will be delivered” (Joel 2:32).
Even when our lives seem to overflow with suffering, we need to remember God, remain faithful to Him, and look forward to His mighty deliverance. As Joel preached several times, “the day of the Lord is coming.”