Saturday I talked about how easy it is to let bitterness drown the soul when affliction and suffering are dogging our steps. One of the big remedies for bitterness is to have thankful heart. I think it is a true statement that bitterness and thanklessness are twin sins-they go together and if you allow one to take up residence the other one is sure to follow.
I will never forget the first time I read Romans 1:20-21 and had a life changing understanding of how important verses 1:18 through 1:24 are in showing a downward progression that leads to the wrath of God. When people suppressed the truth-they refused to glorify God and were not thankful-they then became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened. I realized that day how destructive it is to not give thanks to God in every circumstance.
Notice that I said in every circumstance and not for every circumstance. In the worst circumstances of life and in the face of great loss we can and must raise our voice to the Lord in thankful praise. We are thankful that he is sovereign over every situation that comes our way. He is not surprised by our suffering-he has lovingly decreed it-for a purpose that we may not understand until we see him face to face. I want to list just a couple of the reasons we can be thankful in all circumstances.
We are thankful because God is our refuge and a very present help in time of trouble Ps. 59:16 &Ps. 46:1-3. These powerful verses remind us that we will not fear even if the earth is removed-because God is our God-we hide under his mercy and grace always protected and loved as his children. God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. NKJV
We are thankful for the One who cried out to his Father in the garden to have the cup of God's wrath removed-but loved the will of the Father above all his suffering-Our Savior understands our tears. Heb 5:7-8 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. NKJV NKJV Heb 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. NKJV
One more thing and I will be done for today. I really want to talk much about the topic of thankfulness, but in small doses-because big issues are better digested in small doses. We can be thankful and not bitter because anything we face in this life is only temporary. Talk about a reason to rejoice and be glad! Weeping may endure for the night-but joy comes in the morning. We may be relieved of some of our sorrows in this life or we may not-but this is certain-we will be relieved and for some of us that day will come sooner than later. God himself will wipe away every tear from the eyes of his own. Rev 21:3-4 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." NKJV
In light of these truths a thankless heart is inexcusable and has no place in the life of any believer.