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Gratitude seems to be going out of style. Ingratitude and unholiness go together. Everything we have we have received. We have received better than we have deserved.
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Blessed Are the Thankful
Believe it or not, you have much for which to be thankful today. Take a moment to look back over your life. You and I came into this world helpless, ignorant and naked. Since that time, we have learned to read and to care for ourselves and for others. We have acquired experience, knowledge, possessions, relationships, skills and some wisdom. And we still have an opportunity to gain more.
Are you thankful?
Strange as it may seem, many people are not — because they don’t know God as they could and should.
God’s Word, the Bible, tells us: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be … unthankful, unholy” (2 Timothy 3:1‑2). Did you notice that God puts “unthankful” and “unholy” together? There is a reason.
God is the ultimate Source. Everything good comes from Him. He is the author of life and the giver of all ability to benefit by it. If we ignore Him, we are setting ourselves up for ingratitude and misery. They go together.
Yet many people may say, “I deserve better than I have received.” But is that really true? Do we really deserve anything good from God who is holy and whom we have offended?
God’s Word says, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). If this were the end of the story, there could be no blessing or thanksgiving. But God is a great giver. Consider these amazing statements:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
“God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:4-8).
“He [God] hath made Him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).If God then is such a great giver, it seems obvious that you and I should learn to be good receivers — grateful and thankful receivers.
Have you received God’s great love-gift of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and salvation through Him? If you have, then you have just begun to learn what true blessing is.
But some say, “If God is so good, why do so many people suffer? And why am I not happier than I am?”
Sin and suffering go together. God’s Word tells us that, and we need only to look around us to see the reality of that relationship. Now consider this analogy:
True or False? There are many physically unclean people in this world. Therefore it must be that either there is no such thing as soap or else soap doesn’t work.
False, of course! Thank God for soap! But soap must be applied to be effective.
And when God’s salvation through Jesus Christ is accepted by faith in Him, it is effective. But it must be individually applied.
As for happiness, God never meant us to be happy without Him. Anybody who is determined to live without Him cannot justly blame God for the misery he or she has chosen. God is indeed a great Giver and a great Blesser. But God, because He is God, only gives and blesses on His terms. You are not God, and neither am I. We cannot negotiate with Him, and we cannot manipulate Him. We must simply receive what He gives on His terms.
But because God so loves us, He so gives that when we are willing to receive whatever He gives on His terms, we discover His heart — and we find our hearts satisfied! However, if we come to God insisting on our own terms, we will be disappointed.
So, friend, let God be God, and let gratitude be your attitude.
“What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. … I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord” (Psalm 116:12-17).
Blessed are the thankful! Be blessed forever!
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