Saturday, June 2, 2007

An Attitude of Gratitude

by Micca Campbell

Did you know that out of an estimated one million adults God delivered out of Egypt, only two made it into the promised land? Once freed, the Israelites experienced great blessings from God. He provided food, water and victory in war. So why did only two people out of a million make it to the promised land? Could it be that we are making their same mistake in our quest for an abundant life?

In 1 Corinthians chapter 10, Paul warns us that the Israelites had two problems that angered the Lord. One, they craved evil things that God had forbidden. Two, they desired good things that the Lord had not yet provided. Not only did they want what God had not given them, but when the children of Israel didn't get it, they grumbled and complained. They were discontent with what they didn't have and ungrateful for what they did have. (Sounds a lot like me at times.)

The bad news is this is the sin that kept a million people out of the Promise Land. I believe this same sin is the reason so many Christians today are wandering around a dry spiritual desert instead of enjoying the promised land Christ came to give them.If we want to please the Lord, get out of the desert, and live the abundant life Christ came to give us, then we need to heed the example given to us from the children of Israel. The natural solution to an unthankful heart is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

First, We Must Cultivate a Thankful Heart
Have you ever noticed that thankful people are thoughtful people? They recall the sacrifices God has made for them through out the year. They are always grateful for their salvation, the Holy Spirit, and eternal life. Thankful people also never forget the kindness that's been shown to them. As a result, they become more attentive towards the needs of others. Thoughtfulness is the fruit of a thankful heart.

Second, We Must Cultivate a Trusting Heart
People who trust God are contented people. They have learned to say in troubled times, "Lord this is not what I would have chosen or what I had planned, but I look to you in love and trust; knowing that You have my best interest in mind." Psalm 61:8 states, "Trust in Him at all times, O people. Pour out your heart before Him. God is a refuge for us." God is not only on the job during the holidays, but on all days. "He is our ever-present help in times of trouble." Our Father desires us to trust His heart when ours is breaking or unsatisfied with His provision.

Third, We Must Cultivate a Humble Heart
Humble people are happy people because they rely on God, through prayer, for everything. A humble heart runs to God for daily strength. "O Lord, Thou hast heard the desire of the humble; thou will strengthen their heart. Thou will incline your ear." We don't capture the ear of God by grumbling and complaining. God is eager to listen to our cries when we humbly depend on Him through prayer. Here is an easy tip for praying with a humble heart.P-praise Him!R-remember and thank God for everything. A-ask God for His provision for others.Y-pray for yourself.

Purchase a journal and begin recording every time God provides for you, answers your prayer, or reveals Himself to you. Then, when you're tempted to complain, read your journal and thank God for all He has done for you.You don't have to struggle in the desert anymore - your Promise Land is waiting! An attitude of gratitude is the path that leads the way.