Summary: Shows how to change our life from one of negativity to one that is positive
November 18, 2012
“Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.”
The story is told of two old friends who bumped into one another on the street one day. One of them looked forlorn, almost on the verge of tears. His friend asked, "What has the world done to you, my old friend?"
The sad fellow said, "Let me tell you. Three weeks ago, an uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars."
"That’s a lot of money."
"But, two weeks ago, a cousin I never even knew died, and left me eighty-five thousand free and clear."
"Sounds like you’ve been blessed...."
"You don’t understand!" he interrupted. "Last week my great-aunt passed away. I inherited almost a quarter of a million."
Now he was really confused. "Then, why do you look so glum?"
"This week... nothing!"
Attitude is everything, isn’t it? I remember a time in my life, shortly after I became a Christian, that ingratitude was so ingrained in me that I couldn’t think of ten things I was thankful for. I was negative and depressed and thankless. Life was very hard living that way. Every day was difficult. But I had accepted Christ and in my daily devotions, as I was reading the Word, I read,
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:16-17
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Give THANKS! What do I have to be thankful for? Life Stinks! You are better off dead!” That was my attitude and philosophy of life back then. Consequently, life was very difficult in those days.
But God brought me to these Scriptures and I could obey them or ignore them. I chose to obey – but I didn’t know how. I was so negative I couldn’t see anything positive. Life was so dark I couldn’t see any light. Then I remember the words of that old song we used to sing in church, “Count Your Blessings. Name them one by one.”
I got a piece of paper, numbered it from one to ten, and then began to write down my blessings. It was HARD! I had to really work to come up with 10 blessings. Now it is as easy as breathing – but then – it was very hard. Those of you who have never wrestled with despair and depression probably find that hard to believe – but it was true for me and it is true for many people today.
Do you realize that God wants us to be a thankful people? We are so blessed above all the nations on the earth – and yet it is so easy for us to see what we don’t have – like the guy in my little story. Like him - instead of counting and realizing our blessings each day, we are overwhelmed by despair from unrealistic expectations of life. That’s normal for most people. The bible warns us,
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” 2 Timothy 3:3-5
We are in those last days. We are an ungrateful people. Why? Because we think we deserve it. We think we are entitled to it. We selfishly think that someone ought to take care of us and make us happy and meet our needs.