They spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. (Numbers 21:5-6)
Thanks-Living is not dependent on the circumstances you face in life, no matter how difficult those circumstances might be. If an attitude of gratitude is primarily the product of our environment, there would not be so many ungrateful and unappreciative people who are living in comfortable, desirable, even enviable circumstances. Because Thanks-Living is an inside job, it is impervious to the circumstances going on around us. Thanks-Living is the result of living in a right relationship with Jesus. When you are right with God, everything is right in your world, no matter how upside your world is at the time, and you are thankful for all of it.
Because we bear God’s image, we were created to live lives marked by thankfulness; without thankfulness, we simply cannot experience the depths of our divine design. The high cost of low Thanks-Living cannot be overstated. The Bible lists unthankfulness alongside some pretty serious sins.
In the last days, people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Notice how “unholy” and “ungrateful” appear side by sinful side. These were the marks of the Israelites when, after having been freed from 450 years of slavery in Egypt, they grumbled against Moses and God. It cost them dearly! The key to Thanks-Living is staying close to Jesus and staying conscious of His glorious presence moment by moment. When we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we will have the power to receive everything that He sends our way with thanksgiving. Remember, thankfulness not only affects what is going on inside of you, it affects what is going on around you too. The rising tide of thankfulness makes all boats in the harbor rise.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!