WHAT IF?

 

What if God decided to stop leading us tomorrow because we didn’t follow Him today?

 

What if God couldn’t take the time to bless us today because we grumbled when God sent the rain?

 

What if God didn’t walk with us today because we failed to recognize it as His day?

 

What if God took away the Bible tomorrow because we would not read it today?

 

What if God took away His message because we failed to listen to the messenger?

 

What if the door of the church building was closed because we didn’t open the door of our heart?

 

What if God stopped loving and caring for us because we failed to love and care for others?

 

What if God would not hear us today because we would not listen to Him?

 

What if God answered our prayers the way we answer His call to service?

 

What if God met our needs the way we give Him our lives?

 

As I read these statements a number of thoughts flooded my heart and mind. 

 

The thing that impacted me first though was; am I truly grateful to God for all that He has done for me or do I take Him for granted? You may ask yourself these questions as well. Although all these statements may not apply to us on a personal level, we do find ourselves identifying with some of them in one way or another. 

 

I believe and would suggest that one way we can combat the indifference that often permeates our lives is by choosing a grateful attitude towards God on a consistent basis. In the scriptures, divinely inspired writers have shown that we can express ourselves in creative ways that use our gifts and our intellect. Gratitude begins with putting value on what someone has done and praise is the best route to communicating that.

 

1. In Song - Psalm 9:11 says “Sing praises to the Lord, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done”.

Through singing and songwriting we find ways to express our feelings about love and circumstances. Through hymns and Christian songs, we can channel those thoughts towards God for His kindness and grace. The lyrics can often move us towards a grateful attitude as a secular love song can say exactly what we may feel towards someone we love. Some lyrics from a Christian song named “Hold me Jesus”  written by the late Rich Mullins has often caused me to be thankful at certain times in my life towards God. Some of the words are as follows: “Hold me Jesus, 'cause I’m shakin' like a leaf. You are the King of Glory, won’t you be my Prince of Peace”. Look to divinely inspired music to encourage a grateful heart towards the Lord

 

2. With Musical Instruments - Psalm 33:2 “Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to Him on the ten stringed lyre”. 

Accompanying lyrics we usually appreciate instruments that add to the fullness of a song. I have many friends that have often expressed that as they strum their guitar or play the piano during difficult times their sadness will turn to gratitude and joy as they sing praises to God.

 

3. Universal - Psalm 67:3 “May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you”. In Isaiah 42:12 it says: “Let them give glory to the Lord and proclaim His praise in the islands”. 

Worship, gratitude and praise transcends language and culture. It is a privilege of all mankind. Every ethnic group on the planet enjoys God’s creation and His grace and can express it in their cultural context.

 

4. Perpetually - Hebrews 13:15 “Through Jesus, therefore let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of our lips that confess His name”.

Being grateful never gets old. When someone shows a kindness towards you and you are grateful, that person will know you are conscious of their effort. Gratitude is good to express but it actually does more for you in expressing yourself. A person who gives or sacrifices has a good attitude already, our constant recognition will keep us humble. 

 

5. An Additional Four Reasons - 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”

The four reasons in this verse show our position in Christ and to whom we belong. When we acknowledge God’s goodness, who He is, what He has done and show or express our gratitude, the focus shifts from ourselves to Him. We begin to recognize all the things that God has given us......even the creative ways to be grateful to Him!

 

By: David Jones