Message From Matt | June 22, 2018

A Good Thing!

The hard reality is that life is not always fun!  Sometimes life can be a pain and you wish that you could go live on an island alone somewhere to get away from problems! There is bad health to deal with, bad crime rates to worry about, bad finances that lead to desperate decisions, and there are bad relationships that can cause a boatload of problems.  You don’t have to look too hard to see that there are bad things all around us and there can be so much bad that it can easily taint our outlook on life.  In fact, focusing too much on the bad can make a person grow cynical and critical towards God and towards others.  

Although we might not think we will ever be critical of God, the reality is that you can easily have this attitude and if you are not careful,  this can lead to bitterness!  Bitterness towards God and towards others!

One of the things that can help us with avoiding this type of attitude is to have a grateful heart rather than an ungrateful heart!  It’s having an attitude that no matter what situation is going on in your life, you are thankful for all that God has done for you!  Is this possible when you are going through tough times?  YES!  Not only is it possible, but it is a good thing to thank the Lord for all that He has done for you… but it becomes difficult to thank Him when we focus on the negative too much!  Here is a simple gauge to determine if you think about the negative too much:

  • When you are low on cash, do you constantly worry about your bills or do you work hard and trust in the Lord?
  • When you are not feeling well or received a bad report from the doctor, are you consumed with the “what if’s” of the diagnosis or do you trust that God’s work in your life will be as He wants it to be?
  • When you have unmet expectations in your marriage, do you assume the worst and give up or do you believe that you can do all things through Christ in you?

If your answers to these questions are the negative answers, maybe you are not focusing enough on what good you have from God because you’re focusing too much on what you don’t have.

When I get in this type of a negative mood, the thing that helps me get out of the funk is to realize all that God has done for me and all that He has in store for me!  I then start singing to God any praise song or hymn that I can think of and after a little while, my negativity is gone and I am left with thanking God for His grace!  When I get into the right frame of mind, I understand even more why the psalmist in Psalm 92:1-2 states, “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High.  To show forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,”. Because it is good to praise the Lord!  It is good to thank Him for all He does for us!  It is good to tell others about God’s lovingkindness that gave you another morning to praise Him and it’s good to tell others that it is God’s faithfulness that got you through the day!  Really, it’s all about what you focus on!

Paul stresses the right focus in life when writing Colossians.  He states in chapter 3…

  • “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above…” (1)
  • Set your affection on things above not on things of the earth” (2
  • “Mortify (kill) therefore your members which are upon the earth…”(5
  • “put off the old man with his deeds” (9)… put on the new man” (10)
  • Put on mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering, forgiveness and charity (love in action) (12-14)

Paul writes…

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body, and be ye thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” – Colossians 3:15-17

These verses are a challenge for me to be thankful and to look to the Lord in all things!  I want to challenge you as well to look to God and be thankful for Him!  It is a good thing to give thanks to God!

See you Sunday!