It is easy to thank God if the circumstances that we are in is good and very ideal. But we are having difficulty to be grateful to God when we are in dire circumstances. Let us learn from Biblical characters who hold on to their faith in God in spite of their circumstances. In the end, they gave thanks to God.
It is hard to give thanks when you are in a situation like that of Joseph — sibling rivalry and conflict, false accusation, and only a few believe in your dream. Joseph was sold by his brothers as a slave because they felt that he was favored than them. Joseph was also falsely accused of rape, and was subsequently imprisoned. When Joseph was young, only his father would believed in his dreams. In spite of these circumstances, Joseph held on to the promises of God. He was later vindicated and played a crucial role in saving the whole Israel during a time of famine. Joseph thanked God because what others meant for harm, turned out to be good.
It is hard to give thanks when you are in a situation like that of Daniel — persecuted because of your race and faith. Daniel and other Jews were brought as slaves in Babylon. He faced injustice because of his race. He was forced to eat the Babylonian’s food, and worship their god but he stood his ground and did not waver in his faith. He openly defied the law and worship God. He was thrown into the Lion’s Den but was saved by God. Daniel thanked God because their conspiracy against him was unraveled, and King Darius of Mede was convinced that the the God of Daniel is truly the living God.
It is hard to give thanks when you are in a situation like that of Elijah — hunted by wicked people because of your conviction, and experiencing poverty. With great courage Elijah told king Ahab and queen Jezebel that what they are doing are against the will of God. Because of this, he was hunted to be killed. He hid in rivers and caves until there was a great famine. The widow and her son in Zarephath helped him although what they had was their last meal. But God was merciful and made a miracle in the life of the widow and his son. In spite of these circumstances, Elijah thanked God because he has experienced God’s miracles. Later, Elijah won the battle against the priests of Baal in a showdown in Mt. Carmel. The people were convicted of their sins and worshipped the one true God.
What are the difficult situations that you are experiencing right now? Thank God in spite of those circumstances. God will surely reveal it to you later why you are experiencing these things. God was faithful to Joseph, Daniel, and Elijah. God will continue to be faithful to those who have faith in Him.
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
November 20, 2017