Have you ever noticed the up-and-down track record of the Israelites? We see them worshiping God, enjoying His abundance, with their enemies on the run in one chapter, only to see them worshiping idols, barely scraping by, with their enemies closing in on them.
What led to the downturn from freedom and abundant blessing to slavery and scarcity? I think it’s summed up in two words: They forgot.
Asaph captures this idea in the 78th Psalm. And if we’re honest with ourselves, Israel’s history is our history too.
There is a peril in our forgetfulness!
“When we have much of God’s providential mercies, it often happens that we have but little of God’s grace, and little gratitude for the bounties we have received. We are full and we forget God: satisfied with earth, we are content to do without Heaven. Rest assured it is harder to know how to be full than it is to know how to be hungry—so desperate is the tendency of human nature to pride and forgetfulness of God.” —Charles Spurgeon (emphasis added)
When our thoughts about God begin to fade, so does our gratitude to God. When our gratitude to God begins to fade, so does our reliance on Him.
The dictionary defines some important terms:
- Ungratefulness—not giving due return for benefits conferred
- Unthankfulness—not repaying the blesser with thanks
I don’t think anyone consciously chooses to be ungrateful, but if we don’t choose to actively remember our blessings—and our Blesser—we will become ungrateful. So what if we began to think differently about the definition of gratitude?
- Forgetfulness—to cease to think of something
- Gratitude—to continue to think of Someone (with that Someone being God!)
When we are continually thankful—when we don’t let our gratitude fade—it keeps God’s blessings at the forefront of our minds. Gratitude—continuing to think of Someone—makes us completely God-reliant.
Moses had a good idea to help us to continue to think of God’s blessings—
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:7-9)
What if you posted reminders of God’s blessings all over the place? What if you made it almost impossible to forget God? What if you were constantly thinking of your blessings?
Join us for our series called Fading Gratitude during the month of November.