Thankful in all things
Are you thankful today? Even if today you may be going through a true struggle or pain, we always have plenty of things to be thankful for. You have breath in your lungs, your heart is beating, you get to eat nourishing food everyday, you live in a beautiful world, you have a “great cloud of witnesses” who have gone before us, showing us how we are to live and have fought to sustain the faith of fellow believers, you have countless bibles available to you, written in your own language and commentaries to help understand what it says, and you have a powerful, good God who invites you into an everlasting paradise. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17) and the giver of all good things is faithful:
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!
We have been commanded to be thankful (1 Thes. 5:18) and for us not to be thankful is an insult to the one who is faithful.
Blinded by our Pride
Why, then, aren’t we always thankful? We so often take all those things listed above for granted. Our pride tells us we deserve them or that we achieved or earned those things ourselves. But when was the last time we even caused a carrot to grow out of the dirt. It doesn’t take us long to realize we are helpless, yet we are naturally inclined to be ungrateful. In James 4:6, we learn that “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” In order to be thankful, we need humility. Tomorrow we will together sing “Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord and he shall lift you up” For “the reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4).
If only it was as easy as trying to be more humble, but we never succeed. At least not for long. We desperately need God to work in our hearts, to know our dependence on Him and to clearly see reality. The reality is that God has a feast prepared for us, but left to ourselves we would stand outside the doors in our pride and sin. So when making a list of everything we’re thankful for, at the top of that list must be the gift of being given eyes to see and ears to hear God’s truth. The gift of seeing our sin and our need for Christ, being drawn into His banquet hall. But why did He choose to do that for us and not others? We cannot say. But we can humbly give thanks.
Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
And enter while there’s room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?
Twas the same love that spread the feast
That sweetly drew us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin.
Excerpt from “How Sweet And Awesome”