Encouragement 11-12-04


November 12, 2004
Encouragement for Today

"An Attitude of Gratitude"
Micca Campbell, Director of Outreach, Speaker Team Member, Certified Speaker

Key Verse:

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Psalms 107:1


Did you know that out of an estimated 1 million adults that were delivered out of Egypt, only two made it to the promised land?

Once freed, the Israelites experienced great blessings from God. He provided food, water, and victory over war. In fact, the Lord was their provision. On the other hand, while God supplied all their needs, He was not pleased with the majority of them, and He scattered their bodies over the desert. I don't know about you, but I want to know why God wasn't pleased, and why only two people made it to the promised land of Canaan. Could it be that we are making the same mistakes?

In 1 Corinthians, chapter 10, Paul warns us that the Israelite people had two problems that angered the Lord. First, they craved evil things which God had forbidden. Second, they desired good things which the Lord had not provided. Not only did they want what God had not given them, but when the children of Israel didn't get these things, they grumbled and complained. They were discontent because of what they didn't have and ungrateful for what they did have. Sounds a lot like me at times. The bad news is these sins are what kept most of them out of the promised land. I believe these same sins are why 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, we need to heed the example given to us by 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 don't recall the sacrifices that God has made for them only once a year. They are always grateful for their salvation, the Holy Spirit, and eternal life. Thankful people never forget the kindness that has been shown to them. As a result, they become more attentive toward the needs of others. Thoughtfulness is the fruit of a thankful heart.

Second, We Must Cultivate a Trusting Heart.

People who trust God are content people. They have learned to say in troubled times, "Lord, this is not what I would have chosen or what I have 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 on the job only during the holidays. He is our ever-present help in times of trouble. Our Father desires for us to trust His heart when ours are breaking or unsatisfied with His provision.

Third, We Must Cultivate a Humble Heart.

Humble people are happy people because they rely on God for everything through prayer. A humble heart runs to God for daily strength. 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 acronym to remember for praying with a humble heart.

P - Praise Him!
R - Remember and thank God for all He has done.
A - Ask God for His provision for others.
Y - You may pray for yourself.

You don't have to struggle in the desert anymore. The promised land is waiting! An attitude of gratitude is the path that leads the way.

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, forgive me for not trusting You to provide for my every need. Deliver me from the sin of grumbling and discontentment. Cultivate in me a grateful heart. Amen.

Application Steps:

Purchase a journal. Begin recording every time God provides for you, answers prayer, or ways you have experienced Him. Then, when you're tempted to complain, read your journal and thank God for all He has done for you.

Reflection Points:

Are you discontent with what the Lord has provided or not provided in your life?

Can you trust God enough to say, "Lord, this is not what I planned, but I believe you have my best interest at heart."

Are you quick to complain, or do you run to God with your need?

How long has it been since you've counted your blessings?

Power Verses:

"...And My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord." Jeremiah 31:14b (NKJ)

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness."
Psalm 37:3 (NKJ)

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6 (NKJ)

"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NKJ)

Additional Resources:

Becoming A Woman Who Listens To God, by Sharon Jaynes

Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed, by Lysa TerKeurst

Who Holds the Key to Your Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst

Originally published Friday, 12 November 2004.