God enters our struggles and brings rejoicing. Joel promises the Israelites, suffering years of drought, they will receive life-giving rain…and new life in the form of prophecy, dreams, and visions from all segments of society. Paul contemplates his martyrdom, rejoicing that he is finishing the race with faith. Jesus tells a parable meant to chastise those building themselves up and giving hope to those who humble themselves before God. Even in the worst of times, God never abandons us.