July 2, 2019

July 2, 2019

July 2, 2019
2 Kings 3:10
by RuthAnne G. Henley
Pastor of Draper Circuit of New River District

Gratitude in Hard Times

I wonder how often we pause to express gratitude for the things God is doing in our lives. When do we believe such expression is necessary, or even appropriate? We generally reserve expressions of gratitude for gifts we regard as valuable, enjoyable, or at least useful. For that reason, we may not give thanks to God for leading us into problematic situations. How valuable, enjoyable or useful, after all, is an encounter with trouble?

And yet, God often leads us into problematic situations. The fact that we live in a broken world where justice is hard to discern, and even harder to enact, means that we will face real evil from time to time. How are we to cope in such times? Should we groan and wail, find someone to blame or collapse in the face of the trouble before us? Should we gather our resources and work through the night to find some plan of action that gives us a fighting chance?

In impossible situations, we turn to our miracle-working God.

When the armies of Judah, Israel and Edom united to suppress the rebellion of Moab, they found themselves in the wilderness of Edom, nearly defeated by lack of water before their human enemies even came into view. With dehydration looming, they knew they could not win the battle. “‘What should we do?’ the king of Israel cried out. ‘The Lord has brought the three of us here to let the king of Moab defeat us.’” (2 Kings 3:10) I love the words of Jehoshaphat, King of Judah in the next verse: “‘Is there no prophet of the Lord with us? If there is, we can ask the Lord what to do through him.’”  

In every impossible situation, the last thin ray of hope is the presence of someone who knows how to pray. To be that someone, we must stand in the middle of that trouble. Being where God can use us is a gift from God that is valuable, enjoyable and useful. Although it means that we will see troubled times, it also ensures that we will see miracles unfolding before our eyes. For that, my friend, we should give thanks.

So, let’s get a head-start, and praise the Lord at the first sight of trouble. Thank you, Lord for bringing us to this difficult place. We look forward to the miracle You have in store for us. Just tell us what to do, and we will be about it.

And what are the qualifications for being that prophet in the mix? The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:15-20 that it has to do with being filled with the Holy Spirit:

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
RuthAnne G. Henley, Pastor
Draper Circuit of New River District