The first half of Ruth 2 is beautiful, expressing two simultaneous truths: 1) God is completely sovereign over our lives, and yet 2) we are completely accountable before him. Nothing we do, or decide, or pursue will in any way shape or unravel the perfect purposes of God. Yet, God has given us means of grace by which we come to greater understanding of his ways, greater dependence on his strength, and greater joy in his service.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds (James 1:2). This may be the hardest thing in the Christian life. It’s simple to understand, but seems impossible to do. How do you find joy during a battle with cancer? How do you rejoice when you can’t find a job or can’t kick an addiction; when you’re mocked for your faith; when all you want are your circumstances to change?