The Most Grateful People on Earth

The Most Grateful People on Earth June 27, 2022

 

Thank You, Feedback, Letters, Greeting Card

Image via Pixabay

When the people of Israel wandered through the wilderness, their moods swung wildly from praise to complaining to praise to complaining, and back and forth over and over again.

When God showed up for them, they praised.

When they couldn’t see Him, they grumbled.

When circumstances were good, they worshipped.

When circumstances were tough, they complained.

When things went their way, they gave thanks.

When things did not, they despaired.

It sounds so relatable, doesn’t it?

This is the human condition, even for the Christ-follower.

When I’m feeling good, worship is easy.

When I’m not feeling good, worship can feel impossible.

It is completely normal and understandable to feel this way.

But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t also seek to mature beyond this as well.

And to be certain, there is a place for lament, for processing pain, for grief, which is crucial and honest and biblical.

Walking by faith does not mean that we deny reality or ignore feelings.

But we also desire to pay attention to where God is working, even in the pain and lament, and see where we can gratefully acknowledge His hand, even if our circumstances are grievous.

The apostle Paul wrote this, in a short, sweet, easy-to-memorize sentence:

 

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1Th 5.16-18)

 

This does not mean that everything in life is joyful or praiseworthy or that everything inspires thanksgiving. Some parts of life are truly awful.

It does mean that “in all circumstances,” we desire to be thankful.

We do not need to be thankful for all circumstances, but rather in all circumstances, we find what we can be thankful for.

If nothing else, on my worst day, I can be thankful for breath in my lungs, love in my life, and a Saviour who died and rose again to welcome me back home.

“This is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” (v.18).

We don’t always know what God’s will is in a given situation; we need to seek it out in Scripture and through prayer and discernment.

But this verse is very clear: It is God’s will for us to rejoice always, pray continually, and be thankful in all circumstances.

We are in God’s will when we do these things.

And God’s will is always where the Christ-follower wants to be (Mt 6.10; Rom 12.2).

Christians should not deny the struggles of this life in the name of faith. We make that error sometimes, in our desire to be hopeful, by pretending that difficult things aren’t difficult.

But even as we seek to live in truth and authenticity, we always should be the most grateful people on earth. We know who our God is, what He has done, and how He has saved us.

And that alone is reason to rejoice and be thankful!

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