Last week, we celebrated our Thanksgiving holiday here in the US. We should reflect on things we are thankful for and express it more often.
First and foremost, we should give thanks to God and then to each other. Too many times we complain about the most mundane things. When we do this, our thinking is wrong. Instead of focusing on the blessings we have, we become fixated on the negative, when we should be thankful.
If Satan can get you to feel sorry for yourself and put you in a crabby mood, then you will start doing and saying things you shouldn't. And who wants to be around that?
We all have something to be thankful for, even in hard times or in complex relationships with difficult people and circumstances. Think about something or someone in your life that you have been complaining about. Maybe you're feeling under appreciated at work or hurt by a friend. Rather than feeling sorry for yourself and getting upset upset, choose to instead to focus on something you can be thankful for about that person or circumstance. Then start praising God that He is at work bringing things together for your good, even if you can’t see it yet.
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,
15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
8 Also Moses said, “This shall be seen when the LORD gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to the full; for the LORD hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the LORD.”
After reading this passage of scripture, it really put complaining into a whole different perspective for me. Although you may be complaining about someone or something, according to Exodus 16:8, we are actually complaining against God. Oh boy! I think we all can use some work on this one!
BE THANKFUL ON PURPOSE
You must choose to be thankful. No matter the circumstances, we must learn to have a heart of thankfulness and walk in love. As hard as it may be sometimes, we need to check our hearts and the things coming out of our mouth. If people start to identify you as a "Debbie Downer" or "Negative Nancy", maybe it's time to focus on the good things God has done for you, rather than the things you don't like.
4 I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers.
1 CORINTHIANS 1:4
4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus,
25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
BEING THANKFUL WHEN IT HURTS
20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always
17 pray without ceasing,
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
17 "I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the LORD."
REMEMBER WHAT HE’S DONE FOR YOU
And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth
2 CORINTHIANS 9:15
15 “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”
An entire generation of Israelites were not able to enter the promised land because if murmuring and complaining. They gave a bad report of what God had set before them. As a result, there were forced to wander in circles around their promise for 40 years until they had all died off, opening the door for the next generation could go in.
Don't be like the Israelites. God is so merciful to us, and we are now under his grace because of Jesus. That being said, I do believe we can miss out on some of His blessings because of this same sin.
Father, forgive us for doing the same thing as the Israelites. Convict us before we open our mouth and remind us to take every thought captive. Teach us how to speak blessing instead. Give us thankful hearts and attitudes so that we will be blessed and pleasing to you, and an enjoyment and blessing to others as well.
In Jesus name