Bible Ballistics: An Attitude of Gratitude Vol. 1 No.2
As we have spent the last few days focused on “thankfulness” during this Thanksgiving season, I can’t help but remember many of the ways that God has blessed us in this past year. We have been so abundantly blessed with God’s grace and mercy and it reminds me of a question I saw on a church sign several years ago: ‘Are you humbly grateful, or grumbly hateful?’ It kind of sums it up—our attitude is up to us, and I hope we will continually be giving genuine thanks to our God for all of His marvelous works that He has done, is doing and will continue to do on our behalf. Thanks and praise be unto our God.
I’d like to share several passages that speak of “thanks” today: 1 Cor. 15:57 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Oh, how I long to be truly grateful for all that HE IS, not just what He does!! That brings to mind 1 Thess 5:18 “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” May we ever work on that “attitude of gratitude” as we keep our eyes on Jesus? Remembering that HE is working “all things” together that we might be more like him.
One of the things that I am so grateful for is the confidence that we can have in this God who cares for us beyond what our hearts and minds can even comprehend. How do we learn to have confidence in this God to whom we are to be grateful? There are many ways, but I’d like to mention a few for us to ponder today. Psalm 20:7-8 ‘Some trust in chariots , and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.” It is when we learn that God IS faithful to keep His word that we can grow in our confidence. We learn to do that by knowing and obeying the Lord step-by-step and circumstance-by-circumstance. Learning that His word works in our lives and leads us to trust Him ourselves and then we are His witness to others. Paul told the Philippians in chapter 2:12-13 “wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of HIS good pleasure.” I/we can be totally confident that God is busy doing HIS work in ME/US.
It took me many years to learn (and I’m still learning) that God is never asleep and HE is always working to make me more and more of what He wants me to be. We see in this in Romans 8:28-29 “For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. (29) For whom He did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Many of us know verse 28 “all things work together”, but we have often thought of that as something to quote when emergencies come, or cancer, or some other crises. Yet we often forget that God isn’t just the God of “emergencies”, for when we look at verse 29 it is declared by our God that HE is at work in everything that comes into our lives is to “conform us to the image of His Son”….. How much confidence we can have when we know God is always at work in our lives—no matter how big or small, seemingly trivial or significant things around us may seem!! The same God who is faithful in the “big” things is also concerned in every detail of our lives. He is always at work to make us more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we take time to reflect on the works of our God may we ever learn to trust Him more and cultivate that “attitude of gratitude” in all things? I close with Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” May you have a blessed week walking with the Lord, remembering to keep that “attitude of gratitude” as you watch for God working in, around and through you this week and always.