Thankfulness and Gratitude
In Psalm 106, David provides us a great reminder of the many miracles and kindness that God showed the Israelite’s, from the miracles of the plagues that convinced Pharaoh to bring them out of Egypt to the parting of the Red Sea. Yet the Israelite’s were constantly disobeying God and turning to idols. It didn’t take long and the people easily forgot what God had done for them. And when they turned away from God again, Moses appeared on their behalf before god and God did even more great miracles, like having manna rain down from the sky so there was more than they could eat, to bringing forth water from a rock. The list of miracles goes on and on. Regardless, they quickly forgot. Psalm 106:7 says, “they gave no thought to your miracles; they did not remember your many kindnesses, and they rebelled”.
“They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the Lord.” – Psalm 106:25
How quickly the Israelite’s forgot. And how quickly WE forget what the Lord has done for us. And we are not being set up for success here in the age that we live in of instant gratification. With the internet, we get instant answers to everything at the speed of light by Googling something. And while the quality of information that we receive is sometimes questionable, nevertheless we can get our questions answered almost immediately. And with online shopping you can get anything you want from anywhere expedited, often the next day, the same day, and in some cases within hours. We have come to expect immediate gratification. It’s all about me, and now. I need something, when can I get it?
Unfortunately that is not how God rolls. He works behind the scenes, and in His perfect timing. He doesn’t always give us next day or same day delivery of what we want. His ways are not our ways. And when we don’t get what we ask for overnight, don’t we grumble in our tents just like the Israelite’s, and not obey our Lord? Do we then question that God is even there when we don’t get what we want and when bad things happen? The resemblance is uncanny.
Are we thankful for and do we even recognize all that God has done for us? Do we have any perspective on how truly blessed that we are? I think not. I think that as part of our schooling it should be required that everyone goes on a mission trip for no less than 2 weeks to a remote country where people walk miles just to get water to survive every day. Where there is no air conditioning, running water, electricity, and a pantry stocked full of food. Many of these places have no idea what a pantry even is and they eat bugs and whatever they can find off the land and where many are starving to death. Maybe then some hearts would be changed and we would realize how blessed most of us really are and how good we really have it.
Image courtesy of: Feed My Starving Children (FMSC)
And what about the blessings of the people who God has brought into our lives, our families and friends, strangers who show us kindness, angels in disguise? God always has a way of working things out for us, did you ever notice that? God doesn’t promise us that in this life there will not be trouble. Actually the Word says the opposite and we read, “In the world you will have tribulation.” But the very next sentence says, “But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – (John 16:33) See, God understands us because He became flesh, suffering in the flesh as we do through Jesus Christ. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” – (Hebrews 4:15).
So from this world we can expect trouble, and we can expect sorrow. But we can also expect redemption from our Savior, who will work our troubles and even our sorrows for ultimate good. God works all things together for the good of those who He calls. And as believers and followers of Christ, this is what we can expect because that is what God’s Word tells us. No problem is too big for our God. Nothing can stand in His way.
In this world of immediate gratification, let us not forget what the Lord has done, and what the Lord can do for those who follow Him. God is the same God yesterday, today, and forever, He still performs miracles all the time. And when we seek Him, we can expect supernatural miracles in His timing. It might not look like what we expect, or be exactly what we are asking for. But God will always provide exactly what is needed for those who love Him.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word today. This is a brand new day that you have made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Thank you for giving me another day to breath, to walk, to talk, and to do your Will. Help us to love everyone who comes across out path today Lord, even the ones who have done us wrong and don’t deserve it. Protect me from those who wish to do me harm. Fill us with your Holy Spirit, and all of your goodness, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: 1 Chronicles 16; Psalm 106, Matthew 19
Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:
- “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” – 1 Peter 4:12
- “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” – Romans 8:22-23
- “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
- “If God is for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31
- “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8
- “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be given to you.” – Matthew 6:33
- “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19
- “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
- “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” – Hebrews 4:15