- Religion and Philosophy
When There Is Nothing to Be Thankful For
When There Is Nothing To Be Thankful For
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
Though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
Though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
We give thanks to God for all the blessings we receive from Him. We give thanks for food on our table, protection and safety of our loved ones, good health of the whole family, good-paying job, a great spouse and children. Surely we should give thanks for all those things.
But what do we do when we do not receive these “great things” in life ? Or when God withheld His blessings upon our life ? Are we still going to give thanks and praises to God when we have nothing but material deprivations, sickness, persecutions or harsh treatments from others or a broken home ?
When our prayers remain unanswered for many years, our desires are not being fulfilled, are dreams are shattered and when there is nothing seem to go right and everything seems go wrong, could we still afford to give thanks to God and give glory and praises to His Name ?
The prophet Habakuk is one of the greatest men of faith in the Bible yet he is confronted with a very difficult and seemingly hopeless situation.
Habakuk’s people, the nation of Judah have turned away from the Lord and indulged heavily in evil practices of idolatry. Everyone in the nation of Judah had become corrupt from the king down to the ordinary men on the streets. The rich were extremely rich and the poor were extremely poor. There is a great violence prevailing in the whole land and injustices rules throughout the country. On top of a decaying society of Habakuk’s day was an impending invasion of a powerful and most cruel enemy – the Babylonians.
Habakuk, the great man of faith was in a most difficult, most dangerous and most uncomfortable situation. Amidst the evil and seemingly hopeless situation, Habakuk waited on God to act, for God to display once again His awesome power to the rebellious people.
Habakuk prayed for Judah’s deliverance and anticipated that God will once again deliver His people. God answered him, but hardly in the way Habakuk had anticipated. God said He was sending the Babylonians to punish Judah. God’s words described a ruthless, savage army that would tear Israel apart. So Habakuk complained again, could this be justice punishing Judah through an even more evil nation.
Nevertheless, even in the middle of an evil situation, Habakuk, the man of faith was able to rejoice. In the passage given above, Habakuk was describing what would happen when the Babylonians invade Judah.
The invaders will take away everything. They will take away the food and the wine, the sheep and the cattle. They will not only take away everything, they will also destroy everything that they could not take away. They will destroy all the fruit-bearing trees, the vineyards and the field crops . After the Babylonians finished invasion of Judah, there will be a great famine in the land.
Habakuk, the man of faith nevertheless could still rejoice, “ I will be joyful in God my Savior” he declared inspite of an imminent disaster.
Even in a seemingly hopeless situation, when there is no any single reason to be thankful for, we could still rejoice and give thanks as Habakuk did. We have always a reason to be thankful for when everything seems went wrong. We could always give thanks for our salvation. Even if we lose our health or our job, or our savings, we may still rejoice in God who has saved us from the power of sin.The joyful reality of our salvation is a great reason to be always jubilant in the Lord, it far outweighs whatever pain and sorrow our present circumstances may bring. Salvation is still the greatest blessing a person may receive in his lifetime.
For we who trust in God, there is always reason to rejoice.Whether we have much or little, whether we are blessed or materially deprived and whether we are healthy or sick. Our joy is in the Lord not merely on His blessings. Our happiness is in God our Savior not in what He gives.
Our greatest treasure in life is not found in blessings the Lord gives, but is found in our relationship with God. The Lord is our ultimate possession . He is our portion and our very great reward.
This article was an excerpt fron the Book “When everything Goes Wrong” by William B. Girao . I revised some of the wordings of the original article. This book has been a source of my comfort during the trying moments of my life.