Sometimes people ask “what is the will of the Lord?” It is God’s will for us to give thanks in everything.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God…
It isn’t always easy to give thanks and be grateful in everything. God woke us, clothed and in our right mind. We need to be grateful to the Lord! Three things we can be assured of: 1. God loves us. 2. God is in control. 3. God is wiser than I am.
1. God loves us. The song, “So You Would Know How Much I Love You” says, “How many times must I prove how much I love you, How many ways must my love for you I show, How many times must I rescue you from trouble, For you to know just how much I love you, How many days must I be fence all around you, How many nights must I wipe your tears away, How many storms must I bring you safely through, For you to know just how much I love you, Didn’t I wake you up this morning, Were you clothed in your right mind…When you walked up on a problem didn’t I step in right on time, When you got weak along life’s journey, My angel carried you, So you would know just how much I love you”
God is not going to ask us to do something that’s impossible. When he asks us to give thanks in everything, it’s our responsibility to control the negative thoughts that would be contrary to that so we can do what God asks. He’s not going to give us power and victory. In this situation that we’re in God loves every one of us.
2. God is in control. God is in control of everything to do with our lives. There’s nothing that happens that God does not allow or control if we’re serving God with all of our heart. If I complain about anything, I’m complaining against God because he has ordered and allowed everything to come my way. God is wiser than I am. How often has this lump of clay challenged the potter? If we murmur and complain, we’re challenging the potter. Then he has to put us back on the wheel to take off those rough spots of our lives so that we can give thanks in everything.
God wants us to be a beacon of the light to the world. We won’t be a beacon or shining star if we’re murmuring and complaining. As the teacher walked around her neighborhood, none of the neighbors came up and complained about things. She thought, God help us to not have a mindset of murmuring and complaining! God’s blessings are all around. He’s with us and caring for us. We won’t stop to thank God for what he’s done if we focus on things we don’t have or don’t like. That’s a grumbling spirit that shows a problem of not being satisfied with God if we’re constantly nagging and wanting something different, better, or more. God wants us to be satisfied with him regardless of our circumstances.
Philippians 2:14-15 (Amplified Classic) Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves], That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation [spiritually perverted and perverse], among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark]…
There were 10 lepers at a distance from Jesus because they couldn’t intermingle with the people. They were yelling for Jesus to have mercy on them. Jesus recognized they were leprous and said go show themselves to the priest. You can read in Leviticus 14 how they had to be cleansed. The priest came and they offered 2 birds. One was killed and the other freed, and they sprinkled the dead bird’s blood over them. They took off their clothes, washed everything, shaved all their hair (head, eyebrows, beard, etc.). They stayed outside the camp and after 7 days the priest returned to see if there was any leprosy. If not, he was said to be clean. One was a Samaritan (not a Jew) so he wasn’t under the law.
Luke 17:11-14 And…he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us…he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And…as they went, they were cleansed.
The Samaritan was the only one that showed his thanksgiving to God. He could go back in society and not isolated from everyone. He was grateful Jesus healed him! Jesus said he could go because his faith had made him whole.
Luke 17:15-19 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said…Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
We need to make sure we always are thankful because God daily loads us with benefits. We’re living in a world that doesn’t see God’s benefits to us. We see it prominently on the news and everywhere we go.
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,
3. God is wiser than I am. The Romans Paul wrote to had known God but wouldn’t be thankful for what he had done. If we’re not thankful and we have a complaining spirit, we’ll be vain in our imagination and our foolish hearts will be darkened. Many who came out of Egypt died because of murmuring, complaining, and unbelief in God. Gratefulness and thanksgiving is a mindset of choosing to be thankful. An ungrateful attitude takes away our joy. If something is really bothering you and you’re complaining, how much joy do you have? God doesn’t want us to think negative thoughts.
Romans 1:21-22 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
We need to learn from examples that are written for our admonition so we can have victorious lives.
I Corinthians 10:6…these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
I Corinthians 10:10-11 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition…
Ungrateful people are never satisfied, always want something different and something more. They’re filled with envy, and always wishing they had whatever someone else has. They always predict the worst and have a negative outlook. They don’t show any mercy or compassion, they’re bitter and unforgiving. Peter asked Jesus shall I forgive my brother 7 times in a day. Under the law they were required to forgive their brother 3 times in a day. Jesus said to forgive 7 times 70=490 times. No one ever wronged us that many times in a day. Jesus told the parable of a king who had a servant that owed 10,000 talents – 16 million dollars. The servant fell at the king’s feet and said please have patience and I’ll pay you all. He had compassion and loosed all of the debt. The man went his way and found a fellow servant who owed him 100 pence – $15. He took him by the throat and said to pay him all. His fellow servant said please have patience with me and I’ll pay you all. He wouldn’t have any mercy or compassion but threw him in jail. Even though he was forgiven a great debt, he wasn’t willing to forgive his fellow man. We have to be willing to forgive anyone that’s ever wronged us. If we have an unforgiving spirit, we’ll be ungrateful. It’s vitally important that we show gratefulness or we’ll have a sense of entitlement that everything is all about us. Joseph went through all the hard trials, his brothers’ hatred, and what happened in Egypt. It says the word of the Lord tried him. The word of the Lord tries and tests us.
Psalms 105:16-21 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land…He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him. The king…let him go free. He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance:
Joseph told the butler and baker their dreams. He said to tell Pharaoh about him. It was 3 years before Pharaoh was told.
Genesis 40:14-15 But think on me when it shall be well with thee…make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out …I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and…done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.
Genesis 40:20-23…the third day…Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants…And he restored the chief butler…he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted…Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph…
Joseph prayed continually but he told Pharaoh that God would show the meaning of Pharaoh’s dreams.
Genesis 41:14-16 Then Pharaoh…called Joseph…out of the dungeon…said…I have dreamed a dream…there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard…thou canst…Joseph answered…It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer…
It was God’s time for Joseph to come out. He spent 13 years in prison. He didn’t complain but had a good attitude.
Genesis 41:25-28 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine. This is the thing…What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh.
God wants us to have the right attitude in all we go through. Joseph was moved by his brothers’ actions but he had no revenge for them. He knew things were working according to God’s purpose and didn’t focus on others’ actions.
Genesis 45:5-8 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine…yet there are five years…neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you…and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and…made me a father to Pharaoh…of all his house, and a ruler throughout all…Egypt.
Genesis 50:15-21 And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and…requite us all the evil which we did unto him. And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died…say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept…And his brethren…fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said …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 save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them…