There are many biblical examples of men and women who continued to be thankful to God even when they were going through amazingly difficult times in their lives. Everyone remembers that Job remained thankful even though he was arguably stricken with more tragedy than anyone in history other than Jesus. Paul was beaten, tortured and imprisoned but still reminded us to rejoice in our tribulations because our trials would eventually lead to patience, experience and hope. However, Daniel’s thankfulness, when faced with problems, reminds me of the testimony that is currently being shared by a coach in our community.
Many Christians can tell you the story about how Daniel was saved from the deadly lion’s den. But do you remember the exact action that caused Daniel to receive this death sentence? In Daniel 6 we read that a decree came from King Darius that if anyone prayed to God they would be thrown into a pit with lions. This verdict was sure to lead to a horribly nasty death. Daniel could have easily cowered and accepted the decree in order to avoid a near certain encounter with death. However, he didn’t. Daniel 6:10 tells us that he prayed and gave thanks to God three times a day, just as he had done before the decree! Fast forward to the end of this story and we all know that God delivered Daniel from an almost certain death sentence.
This story reminds me when I was told by the doctor that I had cancer. The particular cancer I had was the most rare and most aggressive forms of oral cancer that you can get. However, after I came out of my sense of shock, I decided to be a Daniel-like example to my family and also to my church where I serve as the Pastor by “Keeping on the Sunny Side” and being thankful. I kept thanking God for family and my church. And now following my cancer diagnosis, my major surgery this past December that left me in the hospital for a week, half of which was spent in Intensive Care, I continued to be thankful for the outpouring of love and prayers that the people in Todd and Logan counties showered upon me.
Like Daniel, I was delivered! The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians to be thankful in everything, not just the good things.
God bless and go Cats!
Rev. Scott Murphy is the pastor at the First Christian Church in Russellville.