A Spirit of Thankfulness

One of the times that a believer has to remain on his or her most diligent guard is at the end of a hard trial, rather than right in the middle of it. Because if we’re not careful, we can become calloused to the blessings of God when at last we stand under the spout. 

Our modern culture is one of a feeling of entitlement. You hear it in our conversations, in our commercials, and sadly now, in our kids: “I DESERVE to be, to have, to do…. It’s my RIGHT to be, to have, to do….”The real test we must pass is not whether we can get through the hard times, but whether we will remain thankful and dependent upon God once He allows us to arrive in the place of plenty.

In a recent self-examination in my prayer time, the mirror of God revealed to me that the unidentifiable odor in my own life was the beginnings of a spirit of unthankfulness, threatening to mildew everything I’m blessed to call my own. It happens sometimes. We go from a really difficult season of adversity, where we’ve had to stay on our knees, to a time of quiet goodness, an oasis if you will…only to find discontentment in “the new normal.”

Manna was the new normal for the Israelites as they journeyed toward the Promised Land. God rained bread from the heavens, yet they mourned for the leeks and garlic they left behind in the place of bondage. And then, when the consistency of a daily provision began to bore their lust for variety, God gave them what they asked for—quail—till it literally came out their noses. And they dared complain again because the taste of the quail soon got old too! Does our insolence perhaps kindle God’s anger against us too, as we complain “while the meat is yet in our mouths?” Are we ever satisfied?!!!

I’m ashamed to admit, my own attitude at times emulates the Israelites’. God cautioned them, when they would finally reach the place of prosperity, not to forget from where He brought them. He warned them not to make idols for themselves right in the place of His blessing!

If what comes out of your mouth begins to smack of ingratitude, then a caution light is flashing that your spirit of thankfulness is running low.Apostle Paul tells us to examine ourselves in 2 Corinthians 13:5. We ask God to change us, when in fact, He expects some of this changing to come from our own application of His Word. Jesus, faced with death itself, may have asked at first for an alternate route, but quickly put his own desires to the side and concluded his prayer with, “nevertheless, not my will, but Yours.” This shows us that even when our flesh begs us to compromise, we do have the power to surrender to God’s will!

I don’t want to anger God with my whining, my complaining, or even my silent discontentment in the little things—ESPECIALLY in a season of Divine provision. So today, digging through the refrigerator of my heart, I pulled out that mysterious stinky thing wrapped in aluminum foil that caused me to wrinkle my nose in disgust when I opened up the door. I toss my attitude into the dumpster of repentance, fall on my face, and give thanks for the many blessings of the Lord Who always looks out for my best interest, sees around every corner, and never slumbers or sleeps as He watches over His Word to perform it.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

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