Psalm 107:1 says, “O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” That’s a commandment. Over and over again throughout the Scriptures, you discover that we are commanded by God to give thanks.
One of the indictments that Paul uses against the world that is going to prompt the wrath of God is that “when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful” (Romans 1:21).
It is interesting how the people of God in the wilderness, it seems, were constantly murmuring.
Here they were, being delivered from their slavery, that miserable existence as slaves in Egypt. God was bringing them to a land that would be their land. God was going to establish them as a nation, as His people. And yet the consistent characteristic of these people was that of murmuring even against God’s provisions. The manna that God provided for them daily, they finally began to murmur against it. They were sick of this manna: We’re tired of it. And what a tragedy that God’s people should be guilty of murmuring instead of being thankful.
I have observed, and perhaps you have too, that there are many people who are very slow to give thanks but very quick to gripe and to complain. It’s a grievous fault, and if you are afflicted with this characteristic, I would recommend that you seek God to change your attitude, that you would be very slow to complain and very quick to give thanks. It really is a pain to be around someone who is constantly griping and constantly complaining, constantly whining. If you find people shunning you, maybe you should check your attitude as well as your breath! It could be that they just don’t like to be around you because of your constant complaining.
“O give thanks.” Now, if we are taught in social graces to give thanks to each other or to someone who has been a benefactor to us in some way, how much more should we be giving thanks unto the Lord? Why? He tells us: because He is good. The English words good and God are associated with each other. In fact, the English word for God comes from the word good, because God is associated with goodness. God is good.
This is one of the parts of God’s nature that Satan is constantly challenging. He usually begins the challenge with “If God is good, then why?” He will point to some tragedy, some mishap, some painful experience, and he challenges in our minds the goodness of God. If God is good, then why would God allow these things to happen?
It is true that there is an awful lot of evil in the world today. We are living in a world that is corrupted by evil powers, and bad things are happening to people all over the world.
But if you are a child of God, the Scripture tells us that all things are working together for good. Now, if you’re not a child of God, that doesn’t apply. But if you are a child of God, “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
So as a child of God, I can have confidence that though something comes into my life that seems to be a horrible tragedy, I can know that God is going to bring some good from it. Nothing happens to me but what God will bring forth from it a good purpose.
Somehow we get in our minds that if something wrong takes place, God is angry with us. God is punishing us, that surely if God loved us, He would not allow us to experience this kind of sorrow or suffering.
We have difficulty understanding the things that happen in our lives because God is working out an eternal purpose. I am far more interested in my temporary welfare than I am the eternal good, but God is always more interested in the eternal good than He is my temporal comfort. So He may let me go through some uncomfortable experiences. He may allow me to experience some pain, some sorrow, some suffering. But if He has allowed it, it is because He is working out in me His eternal plan. So give thanks unto God, for He is good. Satan will challenge that, but never question it. Know this, let it be one of the foundations of your faith: God is good. Give thanks unto God, for He is good, and His mercy endureth forever. ©Chuck Smith
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, King James Version.
Chuck Smith (1927-2013) was the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement. His ministry at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa spanned more than 45 years.
This message is adapted by permission from a sermon preached by Chuck Smith. For more resources, go to CalvaryChapel.com/topics/chuck.
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