June 21
2 Kings 4:1-7

Jars of oil

One day, a prophet died before he could pay back the money he owed a man who had lent him the money. The man told the widow that if she didn’t pay back the money, he would sell her two sons as slaves to get his money.

When she told Elisha what had happened, he said, “How can I help you? What do you have in your house?”

“I have nothing except a little oil,” she replied.

“Go ask all your neighbors for empty jars, as many as you can get,” Elisha said. “Then go inside, shut the door, and start pouring the oil into the jars.”

The woman did as Elisha had told her, and as she poured the oil into the jars, it just kept flowing. She filled one jar after another until all the jars were full to the brim. The woman went back to Elisha and told him what had happened. So Elisha said, “Now go sell the oil, and with the money you make you can settle your debt and then live on the money that is left over.”

Can I be joyful all the time?

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). Is that actually possible? Is it possible to be happy all the time?

Usually we think of happiness as the pleasant emotion we have when everything goes our way. Paul, who told the Philippians to rejoice, was not having an easy time at all! He spent a lot of time in prison. Of course he wasn’t happy about being tied up and beaten, yet he sang songs of joy to God.

Joy comes from inside us! Joy does not depend on the way others treat us, or what is happening around us. It comes from knowing that Jesus loves us and that He is with us in every situation. The widow’s situation seemed hopeless, yet God saw her need and cared for her.

Whatever problem you may have, remember that God knows about it and He cares. Let that thought fill you with joy, and may that joy flow from inside you just as the oil kept on flowing from the small jar until it filled all the others.

Verse for today

Therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. Psalm 45:7