by Chip Falkner
HILLSDALE, MI – Are you feeling more and more like an exile in a foreign land? Do you find it a challenge to remain thankful as attacks to your faith grow more blatant? What is the right response to conspiracies and persecution aimed at you?
Daniel was a captive in Babylon and faced constant pressure to compromise his convictions. Yet, in spite of his difficult circumstances, Daniel remained faithful to God. The Lord had placed him in a position of influence, but Daniel was not exempt from high-level collusion. His enemies looked hard to unearth corruption in his life, but they were disappointed to find him a completely honest administrator. Driven by jealousy, they knew the only way to bring him down was to conspire against his belief in God. Daniel’s devotion to prayer was actually the strategy the jealous rivals used to bring an indictment against him.
Three times a day Daniel was consistent to get on his knees and pray. What’s even more amazing is the customary theme of Daniel’s prayer. He “gave thanks to his God.” His heart longed for home, but he habitually expressed gratitude despite his circumstances. When Daniel learned of the evil plot against him, he still managed to give God thanks. Note also that he added to his prayer a request for God’s help.
The fact remains that “all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12 CSB). Even as a target of unjust attack due to your bold faith, you can still learn to be a thankful intercessor. Evil people may use the law and government as traps, but you can remain faithful in offering gratitude to God. In times of intense oppression implore God for his help. You may even be thrown into the lions’ den, but God will ultimately rescue.
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 CSB).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chip was called to Hillsdale Baptist Church, Michigan in March of 2020. He has served churches in Oklahoma and Illinois and also as a missionary with the IMB. Chip and his wife Gail have three grown children and 5 grandchildren.