Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Thankful Heart

Before I get into what God has put on my heart for today, I need to make a small correction:
The Truth For Today will be airing on INSP Tuesdays at 9:30 PST rather than Wednesday. Just thought I'd point that out.

We live in a world, and amidst a generation that suffers from chronic and habitual thanklessness. Whether it is children toward parents, husbands toward wives, wives toward husbands, mankind towards God, it would seem we are perpetually lacking any reason whatsoever to be thankful.
What I find noteworthy as well, is that among the list of things that Paul describes as the epidemics within the church during the end times, those who are unthankful have a prominent spot between those who are disobedient to parents, and those who are unholy.
The cry of our heart has not been ‘thank you Lord for your many blessings’ for many years now. On the contrary, we look up to heaven with dismay and irritation if we are not daily amazed and bowled over by the myriad of blessings that befall us. The appetite of the church for material things only continues to grow, and the current examples of the futility of earthly treasures that have been making the news lately seem to have had little to no effect. One brow arched in a quizzical look, we look to the skies, as though impatient with God for not filling our pockets and our wallets, dismissing the greatest gifts of all as though they are something we are entitled to, and rightly deserve.
The tragic truth is that if we had thankful hearts, we would see the countless things we ought to be thankful for, and the myriad of blessings bestowed upon us. Alas, these can only be perceived by spiritual eyes, and who has the time to seek spiritual insight nowadays? No, we’re too busy trying to maintain that which we attained by overreaching in the first place, and grow exceedingly bitter toward God for not getting us out of the hole we dug for ourselves.
If only some of us would have heeded, if only some of us would have sought first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, perhaps our lives would be allot less cluttered today, perhaps stress wouldn’t be killing us from the inside out, and adding years to our countenance in a manner of weeks.
I wanted to write about the many reasons we have for being thankful, and somewhere along the way I got severely sidetracked.
Returning to my original reason for this essay, I want to relay, in no particular order all the reasons we should be thankful to God. Yes, even if we are struggling in our finances, even if we’re having difficulty making ends meet, even if we have physical ailments in our bodies, we still have a myriad of reasons to be thankful to God.
Regardless of the trials you might be going through today, notwithstanding the valley you might be traversing at this present time, we must continually be thankful for the goodness and the mercy of the Lord.
Psalm 118:29, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”
God is good in perpetuity, and His mercy endures forever. Even though with eyes of flesh we sometimes fail to see His goodness, even though in the physical we sometimes fail to acknowledge His mercy, when we come in possession of spiritual eyes, and a spiritual heart, we will continually give Him thanks for His goodness and mercy toward us.
Another reason to give thanks to the Lord is for all of His wondrous works.
Psalm 75:1, “We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near.”
Everywhere we look, if we have eyes to see and ears to hear, we see the fingerprints of God. His works are truly wondrous, and if at times it might seem that we’re not hearing Him, it’s not because God isn’t speaking. If at times we feel as though we can’t see Him, it’s not because He isn’t there. So often and in so many ways, we can be likened to the man who standing in his front yard one day, before going off to work, looked up to heaven and said, “Lord speak to me” and a meadowlark began to sing, but the man paid it no mind.
When in his opinion the man perceived that nothing had happened, once more he cried out, “Lord speak to me!” and a rolling thunder boomed across the clear sky, but the man paid no attention.
After some time the man lifted his face toward the heavens again and said, “Lord if you won’t speak to me, let me see you” And a bright star shot across the heavens, but the man didn’t look at it.
Once more the man cried out and said, “If you won’t speak to me, or show yourself to me, at least let me see a miracle” and a newborn baby, somewhere on this earth took its first breath, but the man did not know this.
On the precipice of frustration, the man finally cried out, “Lord at least touch me that I might know You hear me, and that you are here”
And God bent down and touched the man who had cried out, but all the man did was wave off the butterfly that had landed on his shoulder, and continued his journey.
God is continually speaking to us through His creation, He is continually speaking to us through His Word, He is continually speaking to us through His Son, but like the man, we refuse to listen, we refuse to see, and we fail to acknowledge the touch of God when we feel it. The Lord’s works are truly wondrous, and they declare that His name is near, for this we must give thanks.
God is not as some view Him, up in heaven wearied and weighed down by the passage of time, unconcerned and unaffected by the prayers and supplications of His children. Our God is a loving God, He is an engaged God, He is a God who answers prayer, He is a God who speaks to His children, He is a God who comforts them, and holds them close to His heart.
A wise man, one whose heart has been regenerated, also knows to give thanks for God’s salvation. When I speak of salvation, I include both the salvation of the soul, from the grips of darkness and death, and also the rescue or deliverance of our person from the countless trials and attacks of the enemy.
Psalm 118:21, “I will praise You, for you have answered me, and have become my salvation.”
There is no rest, there is no comfort, there is no sense of security for the soul that does not learn to trust in God. When we walk in our own wisdom, when lean on our own understanding, when we attempt to overcome the enemy in our own strength, we suffer defeats and setbacks on a regular basis. When we cry out to God however, He will be faithful to answer, and He will be our salvation.
There are many things we overlook, or take for granted every day of our lives, refusing to acknowledge that they are the providence and blessing of God in our lives. From His protection, to our daily bread, to our physical health, or physical healing, we tend to have an attitude of entitlement, as though God owed us these things, and so fail to thank Him.
We must daily consider that there are people in this world who are starving, there are people in this world who are suffering in their bodies, there are people in this world who have reached the breaking point and have succumbed to hopelessness, and if we are still standing, may we glorify God and be ever thankful.
We must also thank God for the victory He has given us in Christ Jesus over sin and death.
1 Corinthians 15:56-57, “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Although we sing songs such as ‘thank God for Jesus’ we often gloss over the fact that through our Lord Jesus Christ we have been given victory over sin. In recent years there has been a great debate within Christian circles over the Law of Moses, some dismissing it altogether, while others making it the central theme of their walk. The Word tells us that the law of Moses is holy, good and just.
Romans 7:12, “Therefore the law is holy, and the commandments holy and just and good.”
The law however, is the light that shows us the true face of sin, in all its ugliness and wretchedness. As long as the law did not exist, man did not know the true face of sin, for he had no light by which to see. When the law came, man realized the enormity of his sin by its light, yet was unable to wholly resist it. The law gave man the light by which to see his sin, but not the power to overcome it. When Jesus came, He gave us the victory over sin. We are no longer slaves; we are no longer bound by sin, but have victory over it by the blood and power of Christ Jesus.
It is not due to our own wisdom, or our own strength that we obtain victory over sin and death, but due to God who sent our Lord Jesus that we might have this victory. We have everything we need in order to live a holy, fruitful, and victorious life, through Jesus Christ.
Of all the great blessings that God has bestowed upon His children, this is perhaps the most underrated, yet simultaneously the most important in the life of the believer.
When we acknowledge all that God has done for us, we as thankful and obedient children will inevitably be ‘giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Ephesians 5:20)
A thankful heart knows the price that was paid for its redemption, a thankful heart knows the love God has for His children, and a thankful heart is perpetually humbled by the mercy and grace that the heavenly Father extends to us on a daily basis. May we have thankful hearts!

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.


Mrs. Pugh said...

Amen Brother Michael!
The thankful heart has no room for self pity and discontent.
And let us not forget to be thankful for ALL things (Ephesians 5:20). One need look no further than Corrie Ten Boom's account of thanking God for the fleas in her barracks at the concentration camp for proof that, indeed, all things work together for good to those who love God (Romans8:28).

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if this makes sense, but the man you described reminds me of a verse in Isaiah.

For the bed is too short to stretch out on, And the covering so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it. - Isa 28:20 (NKJV)

The man in this condition is unable to see, he tosses and turns back and forth trying to find comfort, but finds none. His bed is too short, and the covering too narrow.


k.mag.. said...

Thankfulness is what keeps kids happy and normal. Unthankful children have a very hard time

k.mag.. said...

Unthankful children are the ones with all the problems. It takes a revelation to be thankful.It is almost to hard to get if not taught.