Mature Class Study, teacher Edith Tolbert.
Every one of us has had a bad day when things didn’t go right but God can help us have thanksgiving every day.
II Timothy 3:1-5 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, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
There are many things we don’t think about that God has blessed us with. If you aren’t grateful, you need a perspective change. You need to get your eyes off the bad situation and on the Lord. What are you allowing to steal your thanksgiving on a bad day? God doesn’t want us to be complaining and finding fault. When there’s a gap between expectations and reality, you’ll complain if you’re not using temperance so you have control of your tongue, your mind, and your actions. The devil wants you to murmur and complain when you have a bad day. Research shows that complaining will rewire your brain to be negative at a neurological level so you’ll be a negative person. Is complaining a sin? Paul said we should turn away from some things. We can’t take unthankfulness out of the list and normalized so it’s alright with God.
Philippians 2:12-15 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. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
We need to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. To do so, we must have temperance. Temperance helps us control our feelings, minds, and tongues. To be blameless and harmless we need to work out our salvation so we’re not murmuring and complaining. We’ve all murmured and complained at some time. Were we blameless and harmless when we did that? When Jesus was praying in the garden, he didn’t want to go to cavalry but he said “not my will, but thine, be done.” The devil has access to our natural feelings. But God wants us to have control of our feelings and minds, not under control of the devil. Gratitude, thanksgiving, and contentment are perspectives of how we’re looking at things. It’s a mindset. Paul said he learned to be content in every thing and to give thanks. God wants us to have a thankful heart and not dwell on bad situations. We don’t give thanks for an accident we’re in or if the house burned down, but because we’re looking to God, know he has control, and are giving thanks in the circumstance.
I Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
When we have a bad day, it’s good to think that God is holding our hand and will help us. You can hold onto your own scripture from God’s word for those times. First God says, fear not. He has control of every situation.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41:13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
Unthankful people feel entitled, want things immediately, and don’t want to be told no. God says “no” sometimes. Often unthankful people haven’t worked for anything. Many times they consume too much media. They don’t give any time to help others. They never hold themselves accountable but blame everyone else (family, friends, government) for their wrong decisions. They have no mercy, compassion, forgiveness, or gratitude. In Matthew 18 a servant was forgiven by his master for a debt equivalent to $16,420,000 today, but then wouldn’t forgive another servant who owed him about $15 so he had him thrown in jail. We’ve all been forgiven a huge debt. We need to willingly forgive everyone. Unthankful people hold grudges but God wants us to forgive like he does. We aren’t born with a positive attitude and thanksgiving. We have to learn to practice being thankful every day. Unthankful people don’t practice emotional discipline but let negative thoughts and feeling take over their mind. It’s our responsibility to bring all our thoughts into captivity and give thanks to God.
II Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are
not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
When Job had everything taken away, he said “blessed be the name of the Lord.” We can’t normalize being ungrateful. It’s never ok to be unthankful. Science shows a grateful attitude reduces stress, anger, greed, and envy. It improves relationships, energy, sleep, and overall health. You aren’t stressed because you’re thankful. We have emotions but we have to come boldly to the throne of grace to help us control them in the right way. Unthankfulness will come out when you get angry. Feelings come but we have to come boldly to the throne of grace in prayer for God to help us have victory to face situations without exploding. God was angry with the Israelites when they complained. We need to take it to heart when God says do all things without murmuring and complaining. We won’t be shining as lights if we’re complaining.
Numbers 11:1-2 And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp. And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched.
The Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years as slaves most of the time. The men married Egyptian women during that time. They were asked to divorce them. The Israelites began complaining and lusting because the Egyptians were lusting.
Numbers 11:4-6 And the mixt multitude…among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing…beside this manna…
If people in the world are lusting, we shouldn’t be lusting for the things they want. The Israelites’ thinking got distorted about how it was in Egypt when they lusted. They said they could eat freely but they really had to serve with rigor or in hardship.
Exodus 1:11-14 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities…But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. And the Egyptians made…Israel to serve with rigour…made their lives bitter with hard bondage…
Pharaoh took away the straw to make bricks so the Israelites had to get it themselves. It took time to get the straw but they had to make the same amount of bricks or they were beaten. They forgot they were miserable in Egypt.
Exodus 5:7-9 Ye shall no more give the people straw…as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. And the…bricks, which they did make heretofore…ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Let there more work be laid upon the men…and let them not regard vain words.
Lust is strong desire, craving or over desire. A person’s mind is distorted if they start lusting for the world after they’re saved.
James 1:13-14 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
When Moses asked to let the people have a feast and sacrifice in the wilderness, Pharaoh said they were lazy.
Exodus 5:17-18 But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord. Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks.
People forget how miserable it was in sin when their mind is distorted. Pharaoh gave an order to kill the baby boys when they were born. There was nothing helpful and without grief in Egypt. When the Israelites complained about manna and wanted flesh to eat, God sent a wind with enough quail for a month. They were 3 feet deep and 24 miles around the camp. Each person had 475 pounds to gather and prepare so they stood for 2 days. Lust makes you do things that aren’t ordinary.
Numbers 11:19-23 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the Lord …have wept…saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt? And Moses said, The people…are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month. Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them? And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord’s hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.