Monday, April 11, 2016

Gratitude for His Constant Goodness

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"'O that man would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men' (Psalm 107:8). Gratitude is the return justly required from the objects of His beneficence; yet is it often withheld from our great Benefactor simply because His goodness is so constant and so abundant. It is lightly esteemed because it is exercised toward us in the common course of events. It is not felt because we daily experience it." A.W. Pink, The Attributes of God


I'm fairly certain that not a day of my life has gone by in which I haven't committed the sin of complaining. I complain when my food doesn't quite suit my present cravings. I complain when the weather isn't ideal. I complain that my kids didn't sleep well, that my house is an impossible disaster, that I don't have enough money or time or freedom to do as I please.

Oh yes, complaining and I are familiar companions.

This sin that we've deemed as "respectable" {check out Jerry Bridges excellent book, Respectable Sins}- it's the same sin that God hated so much in the Israelite's that He struck them down in the wilderness for it. Because complaining is really, at its roots, an accusation that God isn't good, that He really doesn't know what is best for me. Or if He does, He is withholding it. Complaining in its true colors is blasphemous heresy.

The truth of the matter is that we are surrounded by the manifold goodness of God on a daily, moment-by-moment basis. As I sit and type there is snow falling in April. The temptation is to complain that it shouldn't snow in April! Doesn't God know that it is Spring already??

But really, the view I am enjoying from my comfortably heated home is stunning. The cup of coffee with real cream I'm drinking is a luxury. The mess on the floor surrounding me is a sign of God's abundant provision for our family, and all of the fun and liveliness that my precious children bring into our home. I don't feel these blessings as I ought to because I daily experience them.

His goodness is constant and abundant, and as I take the time to notice and thank Him for it, everything changes. My heart, my soul, my mind are all renewed, my perspective shifts, and joy replaces the bleak grumblings. How good God is- when we fulfill our duty of ascribing to Him the thanks and praise He justly deserves, He rewards us with deep and sweet happiness. Yet again, more goodness.

May the Lord cultivate in us thankful hearts. May we stop taking His many blessings for granted, and give Him the daily praise and thanks He so righteously requires.

I'm beginning {almost} every Monday morning of 2016 with words from a "great mind"- encouraging quotes from believers who have finished the course before us, running well to the end. My prayer is that they will give both you and me the boost we need to start our week both hopeful and fixed on Jesus.

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