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Cultivating a Thankful Heart (9 of 21)
Series: The Promise of a Sound Mind
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
The above passage is at the heart of thanksgiving. The Bible instructs us to do all things without complaining and disputing. The grumbler does not see good in what he or she is doing. A complainer has a hot head and a cold heart.
When we are in this state, we don't recognize the goodness of God's hand. When we find ourselves in a difficult, uncomfortable, or even a painful situation, we say, "God why? Why did you let this happen? Why did you do this? Why don't you fix it?" Or the most common complaint, "Why do I always have to...."
If you've read the story of the Exodus, you know how God delivered the Jewish people from the oppression of Pharaoh. God took them from slavery, delivered them from the pursuing army, and sent them through the desert as they journeyed toward the promise of their inheritance. It was an inheritance guaranteed by God's own covenant with their forefather, Abraham.
When the people became thirsty, God gave them water. When they were hungry, God sent manna from heaven. The Lord met every need, yet the people couldn't see God's hand in their lives. They could only see the sand of the desert. They complained about the food, the journey, the leadership, and the things they left behind. The very people who cried out to God for deliverance from the hard bondage of slavery began to say, "Oh that we were back in Egypt." Some even formed a party and prepared to return back to the land of bondage.
Their unthankful hearts not only blinded them to God's grace, but it also caused them to forget what they had escaped from. What originally had been intended as a few weeks of journeying toward an inheritance, suddenly appeared as less desirable than a lifetime of bondage.
We look back at the foolishness of these people and are amazed they coul ...
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