The Believer’s Attitude (Zacharias T. Fomum)

Gratitude is an expression of indebtedness. It comes from a heart that knows that it does not deserve what it has. It is the acknowledgment that someone has done something for you which he was not obliged to do, and that acknowledgment is expressed.

 

Gratitude is an expression of indebtedness. It comes from a heart that knows that it does not deserve what it has. It is the acknowledgment that someone has done something for you which he was not obliged to do, and that acknowledgment is expressed.

The believer owes a double debt of gratitude to the Lord. He owes God gratitude as the Creator and Sustainer of human life, and he owes God gratitude as the Creator and Sustainer of the New Life.

All believers must thank God for:-

  1. Creating them

  2. All that He has given to keep life going:-

    1. Fresh air

    2. Food

    3. Housing

    4. Clothing

    5. Neighbours

    6. Transportation

    7. Friends

    8. Family

    9. Etc.

To complain about the weather, climate, etc, is to question God in His sovereignty as the Creator. Some people complain when it is hot and complain when it is cold; they complain when it is dry and again when it is wet. This is most sad. No child of God dares put on such an attitude.

When did you last thank God for creating you and for all that He has given you to sustain your life? Is it just words like “Thank You, Lord,” or is your whole being grateful?

If you are deeply grateful, your whole attitude to life will change radically. First of all, you will not complain. You will not compare yourself positively or negatively with any other person. You will consider yourself as a distinct individual put into God’s world to enjoy it. You will look at each new day as a big gift from God with good works planned from the very foundation of the world for you to fill it with. You will consider every minute a blessing, every flower a gift from God, to beautify His world for your enjoyment. You will look at each human being as a potential heir of God’s glorious Kingdom and, therefore, thank God for him or her. You will regard every opportunity as a manifestation of God’s sovereign will and for all these things, there will go up from your lips unceasing praise.

Secondly, you will not run away from difficult situations. You will thank Him for them and do all in your power to co-operate with Him to have the situation go His way.

Thirdly, you will not complain about your size, family, nation, etc. You will thank God for all of these, since they are all part of the gracious will of a loving Father. You will say with the Lord, “I thank thee, Father..... for such was thy gracious will.”

The believer will, above all, thank the Lord for the New Life in the Lord Jesus. Think about it for a moment. Are you grateful to the Lord about your salvation? Has it truly dawned on you what it would mean to be without Christ and be bound for hell? Do you know what it means to live with the wrath of God abiding on you? Do you know what it means to be bound by sin and subject to all the whims and pleasures of the wicked one? If you know these and the other terrible things that are the lot of those without Christ, you should be grateful to God for saving you.

Have you been blessed in knowing the Lord Jesus personally? Have you been blessed in being a child of God and knowing that you are an heir to the promises and the throne of God? Have you been blessed in enjoying the peace and favour of God the Father? Has it satisfied your heart in knowing that the Holy Spirit dwells in you? Have you ever seen the privileged position which God has given you in Christ Jesus by allowing you to serve Him and be a co-worker with Him in carrying out the most important job on earth? Have you ever come to grips with the privilege that God has given you in making you belong to His household? If these and the multitude of other privileges that are yours in the Lord ever dawn on you, your heart will rise in continuous and spontaneous gratitude to God.

The sad thing is that many believers take their salvation so lightly. Sometimes they make as if God made a mistake in saving them. They grumble and speak of the limitations of the Christian walk as if to say to God, “God, why did You save me? My life would have been more satisfying had You not interfered.” They complain about other brethren as if to say to God, “Why did You not leave me in the world? l found unbelievers more agreeable and their companionship more satisfying.” Many believers complain about God’s will for their lives as if to say, “God, l would have made better plans for my life than the ones You have made for me.” They complain about this and that and the other as if to say, in the final analysis, “God, You have messed my life for me, but since You are greater than l am, l bow to You; for, what can l do?”

Such an attitude of life betrays profound ingratitude. It is also a mark of pride, spiritual blindness, contempt at God, taking God’s gift for granted.

If that is your heart’s attitude, you can say, “Praise the Lord. Thank You, Father,” at moments of passing happiness but, such praise and thanksgiving being momentary, cannot please God. Those who know their God know that He cannot err. They know that all that He does is correct, and that, as long as they love Him, He will work out all for their best interest to make them like the Lord Jesus. Such then follow the injunctions of Scripture which say,

  1. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

  2. “He who brings thanksgiving as his sacrifice honours me” (Psalm 50:23)..

  3. “I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praises to the name of the Lord, the Most High” (Psalm 7:17).

  4. “I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord” (Psalm 116:17).

  5. “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name” (Hebrews 13:15).

They will join the apostle Paul in thanking the Lord for all the brethren, for he thanked God, saying:

  1. “I give thanks to God always for you because of the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:4). This thanksgiving was made not because of a “perfect” Church, for the Corinthians were far from that.

  2. “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:3)

  3. “We give thanks to God always for you all” (1 Thessalonians 1:2).

Have you ever thanked the Lord for each believer? Not to do so would be to say that that one is so bad that it would be better for him, for you, for the world, for the cause of the Gospel if he were never a believer. It would be to say that God made a mistake in ordaining him unto eternal life and that the Holy Spirit was wrong to convict, convince and convert him. Can you take such an attitude?

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