Look around you: Everything you see is God’s—the heavens above and beyond, the Earth, and everything on it. But it was your ancestors who God fell in love with; he picked their children—that’s you!—out of all the other peoples. That’s where we are right now. So cut away the thick calluses from your heart and stop being so willfully hardheaded. Deuteronomy 10:15-16
The humble person says, “How can I not be filled with overflowing gratitude for all the good in my life that I’ve done nothing to merit?”
Yesterday the Lord led me to speak on gratitude, and its positive effects. Today we will look at the things which prevent us from being thankful and from adopting an attitude of gratitude. One of the greatest teachings on gratitude, is the Israelites in the wilderness.
The word of God uses the words unbelieving and proud to describe them. But when we go into their story, we learn that they complained about God’s will, and they lacked faith (trust and confidence in God). The Israelites compared God’s ways to Egypt’s ways. They faced uncertainty as they wandered through the wilderness and they battled with hunger and thirst. They also faced challenges, and became weary seeing that things were not as they expected. The Israelites were dissatisfied about everything!
In Egypt, the Israelites ate a variety of foods on a more consistent basis, but they were slaves and ate left overs! In Egypt, the Israelites had a home and jobs, but they had a slave master and no freedom! And it seems like the Israelites forgot of their struggles in Egypt, because every time they faced a challenge in the wilderness they murmured, grumbled and cried about it. They had expectations of God, which was different from their experience. He was the God who freed them from Pharaoh, the God who parted the Red Sea, the God of Israel who drowned Pharaoh and his chariots. This awesome God was expected to do bette than He was doing… The challenges they faced were upsetting, and disappointing, which made them weary and moody!
The problem with the Israelites was their self absorption, sense of entitlement and grief. The self absorbed person becomes offended by people, when people do not meet their expectations. Self absorption is arrogant, and proud. It’s a midgame that keeps its victims in offense (offended by things people do and even what they don’t do).
- Entitlement makes people demanding, and incessantly desirous (a person who always wants, wishes and desires). The entitled person feels wronged by life, people and God.
- A self absorbed person cannot be fulfilled; they are blind- sighted and cannot see the good or the blessings in their lives because it doesn’t look like pleasure or acknowledgement. They’re in a constant search of stimulation, and are very hard to please.
- And lastly grief, is the emblem of suffering a loss. We all lose. We all suffer. We lose health, time, fie, passion, people, relationships, friendships, money, jobs, and so many other things. But we can’t be so busy grieving over what we’ve lost, that we cannot see correctly.
Let’s not be like the Israelites! There’s always something to be grateful for! I can tell just because you are reading this blog:
- You can breathe: the air which exists, your nose, and your lungs (and even if you need to breathe through assisted machinery or taking medication: some do not have the luxury)
- You can read, you have education and eyes to see, you have a computer, or some sort of internet connection to read this blog!
Father God, Lord God of Israel. Elohim, Most High, Sovereign God. Thank you for all that you do for us, and forgive us if we have ever been like the Israelites in our wilderness. May you deliver us from any and all dissatisfaction we may encounter. Forgive us for any time we have questioned our faith, our path or your goodness towards us. Give us faith, hope and love to endure to the end Lord. Thank you for forgiving us, thank you for grace. Thank you Jesus for new chances, and for sending your son to give us access to your goodness. In Jesus name, I pray Amen.