Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Do you praise the Lord and give thanks through both good times and bad times? Some have suggested that it is easy to praise God and to be grateful when things are going well. But i have noticed in my own experience when everything goes smoothly it is easy to presume that it is normally going to be like that, and to take for granted our blessings.
Oswald Chambers suggests in My Utmost for His Highest on his January 22 devotional that sometimes it is the blessings themselves that block our vision of God. He suggests that we find it easier to cry out to God for His involvement in our lives when things are not going our way.
For some years now it has been my habit to read the Psalms everyday. I read the Psalm that corresponds with the date and then I add 30. So on the 22nd I read Psalms 22,52,82,112,and 142. Psalm 22 begins with, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” I believe that he is speaking from his heart what he was feeling. I also believe that he is prophesying of Jesus.
Jesus endured our hell on the cross. Martin Luther once declared that no one could understand God forsaking God. But the promise of God in Hebrews 13:5 is that he will never leave us nor forsake us. I believe that Jesus Christ was forsaken on the cross so that we never will be.
In the good times as a believer it is easy to believe that God is with us. When trials and struggles come, it becomes more difficult. We cry out to God sometimes and find what seems only like silence. Sometimes we feel what David cries out, “Why have you forsaken me?” It is imperative in our hearts that we know His promises, especially one like Hebrews 13:5, where He assures us that even when He is quiet he is still present.
I Thessalonians tells us, “in everything give thanks.” Ephesians 5:20 encourages us to give thanks “for all things.” The natural question is, “How on earth can I give thanks for trials and struggles?” Can I really give thanks for cancer, divorce, loss of career, or any other hardship?”
We can be thankful no matter what our circumstances are that we have confidence God is in charge. We can be thankful that Romans 8:28 promises that God is able to take all the things that comprise our lives and make them work for good in the end. We can give thanks because the attitude of gratitude releases the power of God in our lives because it brings us to Him. The truth is we cannot deterring all of the circumstances in our lives. Some we may have a say about, but others are not. What we can always do is choose our attitude with which we respond.
This I know. God’s Word says that God is for us. It teaches that His lovingkindness never ceases. He promises to work for our good. I want to encourage you to live with an attitude of gratitude. Don’t take life for granted. Take it for gratitude.