• Today's Daily Devotion
Thanks To God
TO THE prisoners of war in the so-called “Hanoi Hilton,” bombs falling on the North Vietnamese capital meant one thing: America was trying to win the war. When Linebacker II ...

Thanks to God

Robert Certain languished in the Hanoi prison as the days and weeks of captivity ticked by. He could only guess at the meaning of the bombing halt and continue to speculate if the war would ever end. Although his living conditions were deplorable, the young airman continued to thank God for what he had:

Sanitary conditions did not improve. There was no medical care. Baths were only allowed once a week. Toilet buckets were in the anteroom and were emptied daily, except on Sundays. Rats visited nightly, crawling over us in search of dropped food. Meals consisted of bread made with rat-dung-and-insect-contaminated flour, and the usual cabbage soup containing similar contamination and undercooked pork fat and skin. The morning beverage continued to be the sweet reconstituted powdered milk that came from Poland. We had to eat to maintain our strength; but the meals were becoming boring, repugnant, and hard to swallow. Nevertheless, I always offered thanks to God for the food and for life.

Only God can give meaning to our suffering. When we rely on him, times of adversity can bring us to a deeper relationship with him. Hard times also present opportunities for us to give a powerful witness to others. Thankfulness in the face of adversity is a strong testimony to God’s saving grace. The apostle Paul suffered greatly during his ministry, often as a prisoner. He modeled the attitude we need to adopt during our own trials, whether great or small.

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