Matters of Faith: An Attitude of Gratitude

By Rev. J. Loren Russell

Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man as ruler in Israel.’

2 Chronicles 7:12-18 (NKJV)

2 Chronicles looks at the achievements, accomplishments and affluence of King Solomon during the glory years of Israel. 2 Chronicles was written as an historical account of the events that provide encouragement and counsel to those who were under the reigns of King David and King Solomon. The book is written from a priestly perspective, looking from a theological and Godly viewpoint. The intent was to motivate the people to turn from their wicked ways and follow the Lord’s guidance.

Solomon found so much favor with the Lord that He asked Solomon what he wanted. Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge to lead the people. This request was so pleasing to God that He not only gave him wisdom and knowledge, but added riches, wealth, and honor like no one before or after would ever possess.

Solomon used his God-given gifts to build the temple of God. He laid burnt offerings, made sacrifices on the alter, and asked God to hear his prayers and those of the people. He requested that the Lord forgive their sins and bless their land. That was indeed a wise request because we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.

The Lord responds by telling Solomon that his prayers were heard, but before the favor, there would be some difficult days. The heavens would be shut up and there would be no rain. Locust would devour the land and there would be an epidemic among the people.

That could very well be our situation today; no jobs, schools under attack, children killing children, people killed while in worship, terrorists setting bombs and randomly killing innocent people, students diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, mental illness a reality for a large percentage of the population, mothers abusing drugs while their children are in the womb, parents killing their children, teachers unable to teach, coronavirus popping up worldwide, and preachers more interested in material gain than soul salvation. Heaven will be shut up!

But there was an alternative and a solution to the devastation for the Israelites then, and there is an alternative and a solution for His people today. The Bible says, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” The choice was theirs then and the choice is ours today. If we humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, we, too, will have our sins forgiven and our land healed.

That is reason enough for us to have an attitude of gratitude.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell, associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Monday’s 8:00 – 10:00 PM (626-226-1448), author of Matters of Faith: The Book.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email