Spurgeon once wrote:
Before you go out into the world, wash your face in the clear crystal of praise. Bury each yesterday in the fine linen and spices of thankfulness.
We are a people skilled in the art of complaining. We complain while driving, we complain at home, we complain everywhere because everywhere is convenient for complaining. The corpse of the old man clings to us. But God expects differently. God has clothed us with a new armor. He has marked our foreheads with His Name. And the more we live a life of complaint the more faded that name looks. But when we truly find our refuge in Christ, the Name of Yahweh becomes clearer and brighter.
Jesus says: “Come all ye who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” The paradox of that famous statement is that the way to find rest in Jesus is by working hard to pursue him.
And nothing is more tangible in our pursuit of Christ than words of thanksgiving. The more grateful and thankful we are, the more rest we find in Him.
In what ways are you grateful to God this morning? Have you pondered that question lately? If not, why not? Is the mark of God a mark that is fading or is thankfulness causing his mark on you to be visible to the watching world? If your week has been a reflection of a complaining spirit, and if it has offered little to no thanksgiving, you are in need of confession. We will soon confess our sins before a holy God, and during that short time of silent meditation I exhort you to confess the sin of ungratefulness, because our God—the One who rescued us from bondage, sin, and damnation—has given His Only Son to die and be raised for our justification. Thankfulness is the appropriate response to the God who gives and gives and gives to His children.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we give you thanks and praise that you have again fulfilled your gracious promise, that while the earth remains, seed-time and harvest will not fail. We bless you for the kindly fruits of the earth which you have given for our use. Teach us, we pray, to remember that we do not live by bread alone; and grant that we may always feed on the true bread from heaven, Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory, now and for ever. AMEN.