As Christians we either believe that everything is from the Lord or it isn’t. In Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; He cares for those who take refuge in Him.” Unfortunately, in this world there are many things designed to distract us from the graciousness of God. That means we must learn to cultivate a mindset of looking for God’s goodness in the mess of our lives. Remember that all things are not good. However, God makes all things work to the good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28). Don’t be distracted by the things you see and hear on radio, television and newspapers. As Believers we are to set our eyes on the goodness of God in Jesus, this will give us a reason to be grateful!! When we see how gracious God is then gratitude is our natural response!
A grateful attitude doesn’t happen by accident which means it is to be a habit of attitude and action so make it part of your daily routine. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it says: 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Psalm 100 says: Serve the Lord God with gladness. Gladness here means delight, overflowing joy, festivity, mirth or laughter. You can’t serve God with grumbling inactivity.
Let me give you an example of what I mean. German pastor Martin Rinkart served in the walled town of Eilenburg during the horrors of the Thirty Years War from 1618-1648. Eilenburg became an overcrowded refuge for the surrounding area. The fugitives suffered from epidemic and famine. At the beginning of 1637, the year of the Great Pestilence, there were four ministers in Eilenburg. However, one abandoned his post for healthier areas and could not be persuaded to return. Pastor Rinkhart officiated at the funerals of the other two.
As the only pastor left, he often conducted funeral services for all those who died- about 5000 in all. In May of that year, his own wife died. By the end of the year, the refugees had to be buried in trenches without services.
In the face of overwhelming pressure, constant risk and horrendous conditions, Rinkart never stopped ministering to the people of his city. He gave away nearly everything he owned to the poor and needy, though he could barely clothe and feed his own children. He mortgaged his own future income to provide for his family and his community.
After nearly thirty years of ceaseless struggles, it began to look like peace was within reach. Wanting to give his children a song to sing to God in thanks at the dinner table, Rinkart sat down and composed what would become one of the most well known hymns of all time — “Now Thank We All Our God"
Yet, while living in a world dominated by death, Rinkart wrote this timeless prayer for his children—a reminder to be grateful to God for all things, at all times:
Now thank we all our God With hearts and hands and voices;
Who wondrous things hath done, In whom this world rejoices.
Who, from our mother’s arms, Hath led us on our way,
With countless gifts of love, And still is ours today.
Life is a gift from God to be lived for God. When our mouths are full of thankfulness they can’t be full of grumbling, whining and complaining.
Being ungrateful can be deadly to our spiritual life, for it hurts God and damages our soul. Being ungrateful to Jesus means discounting his salvation and turning away from Him. That’s why the Bible teaches us to carefully examine our hearts. Only by looking to the cross of Christ can we attain God-pleasing thankfulness.