Be better, not bitter
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When Jesus Christ is in our lives we always possess an abundance of thanksgiving in our hearts. Or at least we should.
The scale is tipped way higher on the praise side. Our thanksgiving far outweighs life’s circumstances! On one side is Jesus, and that’s all that matters.
We’ve got to remember to keep our praise and thanksgiving for the Lord at the forefront of our hearts.
The devil works hard to bring situations into our lives to get our focus and thanksgiving off of God. If we fall for the bait, we begin to dwell on the negative. Our circumstances then receive most of our attention.
Our attitude of gratitude begins to wane. If we’re not careful, we can become bitter instead of better.
The opposite of being thankful is being full of complaining and murmuring. It’s a trap and ensnarement the enemy has attempted to use on God’s people from the get-go.
Consider the Hebrews after God miraculously delivered them from Egypt. They walked on dry land after God parted the Red Sea.
The Egyptian army attempted the same, but drowned when the waters came crashing down. The high praise and thanksgiving then began to flow from God’s people. Miriam, Moses’ sister, led the worship charge.
“And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbre in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.” – Exodus 15:20-21
But it wasn’t long before their attitude changed. The abrupt change of heart occurred when they entered an area called Marah. They experienced some hardship in the wilderness when they found no water for three days. Then they entered Marah – which simply means “bitter.”
They found water in Marah, but they couldn’t drink it because of its bitterness. Then they became bitter, as well. Where did their thanksgiving go?
Sometimes it takes much less adversity for us to go from thanksgiving to being bitter in a short time.
But we should be constantly thankful for God, regardless of circumstances. Our praise needs to be constant.
Hebrews 13:15 states, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”
The sacrifice of praise means that sometimes, when life is hard, it can be difficult to be thankful. But if we can give God thanks and glory, we will find victory in Him. If we choose bitterness, we distance ourselves from God.
Thank God for His solution for the Hebrews at Marah. They had entered that city and allowed the spirit of bitterness to creep in. They murmured against Moses and God. But God provided a way for them to get back on track.
“And he (Moses) cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed him a tree, which when he cast into the water, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them.” – Exodus 15:25
The tree turned the bitter waters into sweet. If we find ourselves in a bitter and unthankful spirit, there is a tree we can go to, as well. It is the cross of Calvary. He can turn our ungrateful hearts to being thankful again.
The 10 lepers in Luke 17 were miraculously healed by Jesus. Only one turned back to give God thanks. Where were the other nine?
Thank God for physical healing. Even beyond that, however, is the blood of Jesus that was shed to save our souls from an eternity separated from God. How much more should we be thankful for the hope of eternity with Him?