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December 5, 2018

Being Thankful In Everything

It’s a busy time of year and many people are complaining and not thankful.

II Timothy 3:1-2 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

How much room is there for unthankfulness if “all that is within me” is blessing the Lord? We have to be 100% dedicated to God if we’re going to have “all that is within” us being thankful and blessing the Lord.

Psalm 103:1-2 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Ingratitude: Ungrateful, not thankful, forgetfulness for things given, unexpressed gratitude.

Everything we’re given is from God to be a benefit. Gratitude comes from a heart in full control by God. We face situations that we wouldn’t choose to be in. Joseph didn’t get unthankful toward his brothers or when Potiphar put him in prison. He was confident God was in control of every situation. He knew God ordained and sent him to Egypt, not his brothers.

Genesis 45:5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

Joseph’s attitude showed that he knew he was where God placed him.

Genesis 50:19-21 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

Gratitude comes from a heart of faith that God is in control no matter if the situation is good or bad. Faith in and our love of God helps us believe that “all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28). God was with Joseph and will be with us to work things for our good. Ingratitude can cause us to grumble, complain, find fault, and even cause depression. The Israelites were in the wilderness because they complained about what God did. They saw the miracles or plagues that came in Egypt, saw the Red Sea divided, saw the cloud of God’s presence by day and in a pillar of fire by night, and knew God gave them manna. Yet they didn’t believe his promise to give them the promised land of Canaan.

Deuteronomy 8:2-3 And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna…that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.

We won’t see divine opportunities that God sets before us if we have ingratitude. We will focus on people instead of what God is trying to do in them. Everyone that was 20 years old and older died in the wilderness because of murmuring and complaining. God takes complaining seriously. He wants us to do all things without murmuring and complaining (Philippians 2:14). It takes an intentional effort to keep our mind set to be thankful. As we seek God every day to please him, he will cause us to prosper – no matter what the situation is. God prospered Uzziah as long as he sought God.

II Chronicles 26:3-5 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem …And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord…and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.

Uzziah warred against the enemies of God’s people and tore down the walls of their places of idol worship.

II Chronicles 26:6-7 And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines. And God helped him…

God helped Uzziah marvelously as long as he sought God. It stopped when he got strong in himself. We’ll prosper and be marvelously helped if we seek God every day. The enemy wants us to get proud of our accomplishments. Companies give benefits to their employees for health and 401ks. The employees don’t give benefits. God gives benefits – they’re not our accomplishments. We need to ask God to help our gratitude if we’re griping about government, traffic, food prices, etc.

II Chronicles 26:11-15 Moreover Uzziah had an host of fighting men, that went out to war by bands…The whole number of…men of valour were two thousand and six hundred. And under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy. And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones. And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men…upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong.

God protects us and is always caring for us. He doesn’t take it lightly when a person lifts themselves up in pride.

II Chronicles 26:16-21 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the Lord…went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense. And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the Lord, that were valiant men…withstood Uzziah…said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated…go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed…Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead…and they thrust him out from thence…because the Lord had smitten him. And Uzziah the king was a leper unto…his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the Lord: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people…

You can have the worst day in your life but still be loaded with benefits. God delivered us from sin, and gives us peace and joy. God wants us to shine in the bad situations.

Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

We have to serve God with joyfulness and gladness of heart for all the abundance of things he’s done. Murmuring, complaining, and ingratitude are the first steps to backsliding.

Deuteronomy 28:45-48 Moreover all these curses shall…overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments…Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.

When trials come, it’s to perfect us so we can have thankfulness and gratitude.

Psalm 136:1-4 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalm 136:26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

God wants us to have control of our minds and to be thankful, not let the devil have control.

II Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

Murmuring and complaining is a stronghold. We have to cast down things that come to our mind that won’t show joyfulness and gladness of heart. We won’t be an effective witness for God if we’re murmuring and complaining.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

We have to be sold out 100% and dedicated to God.

I Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)