Thanksgiving Or Complaining - Which Will It Be
Contributed by Jimmy Chapman on Nov 16, 2006 (message contributor)
Summary: Are you pleasing or displeasing to the Lord? The presence or the absence of thankfulness will manifest it.
Thanksgiving or complaining - which will it be
The person who gives thanks can find comfort in everything; the person that complains can find comfort in nothing.
See Numbers 11:1. May I suggest to you that whatever displeases God is sin, and yet how prone we are to grumble, complain, and mummer. God is grieved with our complaining.
Thankfulness is the opposite of complaining. As the opposite I wonder how God feels about it. See Psalm 69:30,31.
Thanksgiving is a Christian grace that we ought to be growing in.
A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store, but she was unable to find one big enough for her family. She asked a stock boy, "Do these turkeys get any bigger?" The stock boy replied politely, "No, ma’am, they’re as big as they’re gonna get - THEY’RE !"
So it is with many today when it comes to giving thanks to God for all He has done for them. They are not growing thankfulness, they are to it!
I. Thanksgiving is an attitude of choice
Thanksgiving is a definite attitude. It is a choice we make. We can either be thankful and express gratitude for the rich blessings of God, or we can gripe, murmur, and complain about our circumstances.
The choice is ours.
Thanksgiving is independent of circumstances but not independent of choice. We can choose to thankful or not.
Ps 34:1 “I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” David makes a deliberate choice to praise the Lord. We can and should make a deliberate choice to move from Grumbling Alley to Thanksgiving Place.
II. Thanksgiving is an assignment to complete
Thanksgiving is commanded in the Word of God. It is not optional! It is not optional but mandatory.
A. It is a imperative assignment.
D. It is a individual assignment.
There is always something we can be thankful about if we look for it.
Two school teachers who hadn’t seen each other in several years met at a convention, and they began filling each other in on what had happened in their lives since the last time they had visited together.
One teacher said, "I got married two years ago." "Oh, that’s good," her friend replied.
"Well, no, not really," the first one said. "My husband is twice as old as I am." "Oh, that’s bad," her friend replied.
"Well, no, not really," she said, "because he is a millionaire several times over." "Oh, that’s good," her friend replied.
"Well, no, not really," she said, "because he turned out to be mean, and he won’t give me any money at all." "Oh, that’s bad," her friend replied.
"Well, no, not really," she said. "He did build us a $300,000 house." "Oh, that’s good," her friend replied.
“Well, no, not really," she said. "It burned down last month." "Oh, that’s bad," her friend replied.
"Well, no, not really," she said. "He was in it when it burned down."
II. Thanksgiving is an activity that characterizes
Thanksgiving or its absence distinguishes, distinguishes, and defines. Christians should be characterized by thanksgiving. According to Romans 1 unthankfulness is a trait of the ungodly (1:21). In II Timothy when Paul is describing the last days, we observe that unthankful is mentioned just before unholy.
As the ungodly and an unholy are distinguished by being unthankful, Christian should be distinguished by the spirit of thankfulness.
How beautiful is the grace of gratitude! Thanksgiving should adorn the life of every child of God as it did Jesus. Ps 33:1 “Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.” Praise is suitable for the righteous.
Thanksgiving should be an activity that all the redeemed of the Lord participate in daily.
The way to be unhappy Christian is to be unthankful Christian. An unthankful Christian will soon be a defeated Christian.
Are you pleasing or displeasing to the Lord? The presence or the absence of thankfulness will manifest it.
Some years ago the late Dr. Donald G. Barnhouse was traveling from Alabama to Florida. Feeling a tire going flat, he pulled to the side of the road and inwardly groaned at the thought of removing hundreds of books in the trunk, so as to reach his spare tire. Seeing a jeep coming over the hill, he hailed the driver and offered him money to fix the flat. The big, strapping fellow was soon hard at work. When he expressed curiosity about the books, Dr. Barnhouse told him he was a Preacher.
The man said, “My wife would be interested, but I am not interested in those things.” All the time the man worked his dog stood close to him, licking him every once in while. Now and again the man would stop and pat it. The man shared how the dog had once saved his life by pulling him out of quicksand and for that reason he was devoted to his dog. "It eats at my table and, though my wife doesn’t like it, he sleeps at the foot of my bed."