An Attitude of Gratitude

Next month during one of the monthly RGC men’s gatherings, I’ll be teaching on Faithfulness in God’s Word. And although I think it is entirely necessary for us to be faithfully in His Word, I wanted to reflect on the ways that God has been faithful to us individually as distinct persons, corporately as a local church, and universally as all the believers. These are some thoughts I had as I was thinking about how to approach my lesson. I want to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness every day and I think as Christians this is something we can all be doing. This is the attitude talked about in 2 Corinthians 4:15 which says “For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.”

As I think about God’s faithfulness to me, a few things come to mind. And they come from Romans 8:29. The first is that He has saved me. That He sent his son, Jesus Christ, down to die for my abundant sins. It was no doing of mine. It is all grace and this grace was freely given. So there is no “paying God back” in penance or pride in being one of the predestined. The second is that after He saved me, He is now sanctifying me. He is making me more and more like Christ. I know that day to day there is a growth in me and although I work at my spiritual disciplines and continue in obedience, God is really the one who produces the growth. And then thirdly I am thankful that I know where I will end up. I know that as I am growing to be Christ-like I will eventually be made like Christ. I know that it will be the end result. And I am so grateful this is promised to us in His Word.

God is not only faithful to us individually but to our church. Our local church was planted less than 5 years ago and speaking as one who has been there from almost the very beginning, God has been so good to us. God faithfully provided us with a church building, another elder, and a deacon (with hopefully more to come!). I have seen a thirst for learning and a thirst for serving. And that’s not to say that RGC is a perfect church. I’ve seen conflict within the church, abandonment from the church, and general apathy at times. But through it all I’ve seen God’s faithfulness in our church. What comes to mind is God’s faithfulness through other saints. Whether it has been through teaching events, seeing others step up and serve, or even random encouragement through conversing with others, I have been continually refreshed. So let us be “encouraging one another, and all the more as [we] see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25b)

And then we get to how God has been faithful to all believers. This is the main idea I wanted to get at that prompted this blog post. God is of course faithful to believers in many ways: giving us all of creation to enjoy, giving us the Holy Spirit to teach us, but the idea I want to get at is how God is faithful to give us His Word. So often here in the United States we take the Bible for granted. We are privileged to be able to access the Bible on our phones and our computers. We can also find concordances, study Bibles, and sermons through the use of technology. We can buy Bibles rather easily, only having to wait 2 days if we have Amazon Prime. And of course every single hotel room has a Bible located in one of the drawers. But how many proclaimed Christians neglect this great gift? How many Christians aren’t reading their Bibles? Although unassuming in its presentation, the Bible contains powerful words. In it contains the very words of God! “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

The Bible tells us what God desires of us, it tells us how to live a righteous and fruitful life, and it narrates for us the lives of heroes in the faith. God gave us His very Word and through the careful study of it we can come to a greater understanding of who He is. God is most faithful to us by gifting us with His Word.

(Note: These are just a few of my personal reflections of God’s faithfulness. This list is nowhere near a complete list of all of the ways God is faithful to us.)

So how do we cultivate thankfulness? Remember how God has saved you, reflect on how He is growing you, and eagerly anticipate how He will glorify you. Think upon how God has blessed you through someone else in the church. And think about how privileged we are to be able to read God’s Word for although authored by man, it is God-breathed. Upon doing so, we can develop a theology (study of God) that should in turn lead to our doxology (our praise to God.)