As we move past Thanksgiving, you no doubt have heard the sentiment that we should be thankful year-round instead of saving it up for the fourth Thursday of November. I’m struck as I read God’s word (especially the Old Testament) with the sense of how much God despises our grumbling and complaining. In fact, many of his harshest words for the Israelites He was leading to the promised land dealt with their complaining attitudes. I need to be more thankful for all of God’s blessings in my life, but even more importantly, I need to rid myself of the ungratefulness in my heart that often manifests itself in complaining and grumbling.
In Psalm 4, David says that there are many complainers – those who ask “Who will show us some good?” (vs. 6) But David realized that the attitude inside of him was much more important than the circumstances around him – he affirmed that God had “enlarged him” or “relieved him” when he was in distress. (vs. 1) God does “enlarge” us or cause us to grow in our troubles, if we allow Him to work in us.
That’s only one of the blessings that God brings in the midst of trials. He also encourages us through them (vv. 2-3); enables us to endure through giving us peace (vv. 4-5); and gives us the blessing of enlightenment and enjoyment (vv. 6-8) allowing us to enjoy that peace and even sleep in the midst of the storm. So get your eyes off your trial and back on to God. Allow him to use the pressure on the outside to enlarge you on the inside.