Cultivating An Attitude of Gratitude

1 12 2008

To the Mountain Springs Church Family;

“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

The prophet Jeremiah is speaking during a time of great depression and disaster in Jerusalem (586BC).  Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian army have besieged and destroyed the holy city and her people.  Indeed, the book of Lamentations opens with, “How lonely sits the city that was full of people!  How like a widow is she…the princess has become a slave!” (Lam. 1:1)  Jeremiah is an eyewitness to the dismantling and destruction of not only the beloved city but the Temple.  Nebuchadnezzar not only tore down the Temple brick by brick, he also took the great treasures of the inner sanctum back to Babylon.  (As a side note, it is believed that during this time the Ark of the Covenant was secretly hidden to avoid capture.  To this day, no one knows for sure what happened to the Ark.) 

So, Jeremiah is writing while everything that he loves, everything that he has preached about and cherishes is being systematically driven out of his life—his nation lies in defeat; the great Temple is in rubble; the Jews lie dying or captured to a foreign pagan power.  Jeremiah is writing in a time of ecclesiastical and national depression.

What does Jeremiah have left?  Nothing from a worldly viewpoint. Yet look at our passage above.  Look at how positive and joyful Jeremiah expresses himself! “His compassions fail not…Great is your faithfulness!”  Wow!  This is a man with a different kind of attitude.  Jeremiah, who was actually hated and imprisoned by the Jews themselves, and is now watching a pagan nation destroy all that he loves, finds deep within his spirit an attitude of gratitude.  Is this not amazing?  It is nothing less than supernatural.

An attitude of gratitude is only possible as we shake off the fears and doubts that so easily plague us.  Doubts and fears rob us of faith and peace.  Fear sabotages faith.  Fear is the polio of the soul.  Faith is the inoculation we need to change our attitudes.

Jeremiah made a choice in his heart when all of his circumstances and feelings railed against him.  Jeremiah chose a grateful spirit.  Jeremiah chose the faithfulness of God.  Jeremiah chose to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. 

When you read the book of Lamentations, one quickly realizes that the center of the book is our passage.  One commentator on Lamentations writes, “Great is His faithfulness,’ is the literary center of the book.”  It is also the spiritual center of Jeremiah’s faith!  Is the faithfulness and mercy of God the spiritual center of your life today?

How are you doing today?  Are you worried about your job? Concerned about your marriage? Doubting the presence of God?  Are you enveloped in fears that are overwhelming?  All of us go through uncertain and wavering times.  Nations, churches, and individuals will pass through times of great testing and trials.  Our church is passing through such times.  Our nation is passing through such trials.  Maybe you are passing through such difficulties.

Let me encourage you to choose joy.  Choose God’s faithfulness.  These are times of great testing and if we will make a choice to rejoice, the joy of the Lord will indeed by our strength and portion.  Speak out the blessing of God to those around you.  Let’s Sing with joy in our heart.  For great, really great, is His faithfulness!  Choose God’s way and discover fresh joy!
Pastor Steve


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3 responses

5 12 2008
Joe

My wife and I are struggling financially due to her being unemployed now for a year and a half. My landlord has been understanding, but I believe he’s reaching the end of his rope…and rightfully so. I’m behind on almost everything and the pressure of the Holiday’s is mounting. This blog has broken my heart…why am I so unfaithful? God has proven His faithfullness to me so many times in my life! But I can’t seem to release this burdon to Him! Why am I running from God with this? This Blog is what I needed to hear at this exact time as 1 hour ago is when I received the email from my landlord about the situation. I need strength to turn this over…

10 12 2008
Shelly

Steve – I am thrilled to be a part of a church where the Pastor speaks the truth of the Bible, does not shy away from the tough topics but in all of it, your love for the church shines through and you always point us to God and His greatness! Thank you!

12 12 2008
Darrel Pritchard

Amen Amen Amen!

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