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Gratitude in the Midst of Difficulties: Insights from Karl Faase

by | Mon, Sep 18 2023

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Karl Faase is an Australian Christian speaker, media presenter, and author who has been inspiring audiences around the world for over two decades. He is the CEO of Olive Tree Media, through which he hosted and created the documentaries Faith Runs Deep and Jesus the Game Changer.

Karl is also widely known as the presenter of Daily Nudge spots – which have been heard on radio and sent via email for over 10 years. With a passion for communicating the relevance of Christianity to modern life, Karl has helped countless people deepen their understanding of faith.

A Heart of Gratitude

Karl recently joined us on Sunday Morning Together to share his thoughts on how we can maintain a heart of gratitude towards God, even when life gets difficult.

‘There’s this concept of if it’s not going well, God has abandoned me,’ says Karl. ‘But it’s interesting to ask, is that a Biblical concept? Is that what the Bible tells us? How do we deal with this from a Biblical perspective?’

Karl believes that are three examples out of Scripture we can look at to answer this question. The first comes from Luke Chapter one. Zechariah is in the temple, and an angel appears to him and says, your wife is going to be with child. You and your wife are going to have a baby, and you are to name him John. Zechariah can’t believe it, especially since Elizabeth is barren.

A Sign From God 

‘The angel talks about the importance of this baby and then says leaves Zechariah with a sign,’ says Karl. ‘And what’s the sign that God has spoken to him? He struck dumb. He actually leaves the inner sanctum of the temple after he’s met with God with a disability that doesn’t get taken away until eight days after the baby is born.’

The second example comes from Genesis Chapter 32, when Jacob is going back to Esau, whom he robbed of his birthright. Jacob has been away for years now after fleeing his brother, and he’s in tension with his father in law. So he decides to go back. He sent everything ahead of him, including his servants, his livestock, his possessions and his wives.

‘In the end, he’s left by himself,’ says Karl. ‘As you read through verses 25 and 26, you’ll notice that he’s wrestling with God. And then it’s almost like he starts clinging on. He says, I’m not going to let you go until you bless me. Eventually Jacob’s hip is touched, and he limps away from that interaction. The sign that Jacob has interacted with a message from God is he limps from the experience.’

My Grace is Sufficient for You

The third example comes from Paul in 2 Corinthians. Paul was given a thorn in the flesh to keep him from being conceited. But the interesting thing is, we don’t know what it was. Then it says in chapter 12, that Paul pleaded with God three times for it to be taken away.

‘God said to him, My grace is sufficient for you,’ says Karl, ‘for my power is made perfect in weakness. We believe that Paul was never released from that thorn. There’s nothing in Scripture that demonstrates he was released from it. We know that Zechariah spoke again when John was named. Jacob maybe had a limp all his life. We don’t really know.’

Are you struggling with that question today? Why does God not take this away from me? Why am I left with this limp? Whether it’s emotional, physical, economic, whatever it is, the notion is that somehow God is not there.

God Is With Us

‘I’m not saying that God sent it, but God stands there with you,’ says Karl. ‘God turning up may not be a nice, quiet, pleasant experience, but it will leave us in a relationship with Him for eternity.’

‘If you’re doing it tough today, God is with you.’

Listen to Karl’s full interview on Sunday Morning Together below: