Summary: Sometimes it takes big problems to bring us to a new beginning.
As we enter a new year, we are hoping to prosper more than we did the previous year and often we are wanting to forget the many trials and troubles we had as well. The Jewish New Year is on first and second days of Tishri (September-October). Though it is on a different calendar day, it means the
same to them as it does for us in a couple of ways.
We not only see the day a a new beginning, but also it is a day of judgment for us. We look back and based on our perspective we resolve to do differently things of a worldly or spiritual nature and sometimes both. We will vow to quit smoking, overeating or go to church more, read the Word more, give more to the poor, etc. All our resolves last at best thirty days. Hence, we often repeat the same as we did last year and lament the failures and problems we experienced for another year because we try to do them in our flesh rather than seeking the power of God to overcome them.
Many things come into our lives that we do not expect and have very little control over. These are called tribulations in the Word. Others we have control over, but we fail to see how we allowed them to happen. I remember when my father-in-law developed emphysema from smoking many years he stated, “I guess I brought this on to myself.” Sadly, he was right and many things we blame God for or some other person or circumstance for when in reality we brought it on ourself.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
The various troubles and standard vicissitudes of life will be with us until the Millennium and even what they may experience will change. Jesus said that He had overcome them so is we seek Him and His will we will experience the same things as those who are not believers, but we will be able to access joy and peace if we seek it. Without God, you will have a truck load of problems! You may also have a truckload with Him, but He will help you unload the truck.
Amos 4:9 I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
Joe 2:25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
Joe 2:26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.
Joe 2:27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.
Joe 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
Joe 2:29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
Joe 2:30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
Joe 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
Joe 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
Maybe you have had troubles of your own making and you grieve over them and may even wonder if God loves you and will forgive you. God is a god of mercy and willing to make a new beginning for you if your turn to Him.
Israel's problem that brought about the trouble they experienced in Amos was that they had turned from the one true God to false gods and trusted in their own thoughts and political covenants with pagan nations for their national security. Their sins were many so God sent trouble into their life to get their attention wanting them to repent and return. They didn't and judgment fell.
What we see in Joel is God's plan for them when they returned. He not only promised to resume blessing them, but also to restore what the palmerworms and cankerworms consumed. Only God can do that and He is eager to do so if you trust in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and freely confess them to Him seeking to let Him rule your life. Face it, we all pretty much stink at running our own lives so why not seek the One who knows all for the wisdom we need? Dump the pride and seek His guidance.