I wonder if God looks down at us like an exasperated Father and pulls his hair out in utter frustration and despair? Luckily he is God and has more patience than we do, otherwise I think he would have kicked us out on our ear a long time ago.
Why are we so ungrateful? How can we, as Christians, look at the world around us, consider the sacrifice God made for us, and still dare to complain when life presents us with challenges? How do we convince ourselves that the world owes us something, when God has already given us everything?
Well, we are imperfect and we are born with a sin nature. But that isn’t enough to stand as an excuse for everything we do. It isn’t enough to explain how we can spend our lives in such anger against each other, in such frustration, bitterness, jealousy and hate. How can we love Jesus, praise God and still complain because life isn’t perfect.
Life can be a trial, and sometimes the trials just keep coming, but many of us don’t suffer from much of anything but a selfish heart. Most of the daily issues we face are made bigger by our attitude, by focusing on the problem, and using it as an excuse to blame others, or worse, to blame God.
I’m guilty of this as much as anyone. I’m blessed beyond anything I deserve, and still I have moments in my life when I convince myself that things are bad enough that misery and depression is the only resort. I look at my life and the financial struggles, or the stress caused by unexpected and unwanted trials, and I ask God where he is in all this. I ask the question; What has he done for me lately?
The answer is, God has done and is doing and will do, more for me than I can ever repay, more than I could ever deserve.
So we should be thankful, even in the hard times. We should be grateful, even when the world seems dark and life seems to be heading downhill, fast. God is still there, God still loves you. God has given you life and ability and possibility. If we focus on the problem, we will never get past it. Or, if we do get past the current issue, we will soon find a new issue to focus on. I know how this goes, and the destination is frustration, anxiety and depression.
Gratitude will not solve all your problems. Praising God, even when life is at it’s darkest, will not bring out the sunshine (unless God decides to bring out the sunshine, at which point it will – He knows better than I do) But what it will do, is start to focus you away from the problem. It will help stop your heart and your mind dwelling on the problem and that will help your attitude.
So praise God, whether you feel like it or not. Praise God until it sinks in. Don’t ask what God has done for you lately, because if you can’t see the blessing you have, you are not putting yourself in a place to notice the blessing he is trying to give you.
I am blessed. You are blessed. See how many ways you can find to express your gratitude for what you have, and see how consistently living with this attitude can change your heart.
I am still a work in progress, but I don’t live each day wishing it was my last. I don’t wake up wondering why am I even here, and who would miss me if I was gone. I have lived with that attitude, I have struggled to live under that cloud. I can tell you this, I don’t miss it and I don’t ever intend on going back to that place.
So, what has God done for me lately? He gave me everything.