You remember don’t you?? … that time when you were full of anxiety, worry, and maybe occasionally outright fear ?
Don’t you remember those days when you prayed constantly from first thing in the morning, snatching every moment praying, walking down the street in fact every spare minute was spent asking God to answer the prayer to your personal desperate situation… and in God’s own time, when deliverance came, you were oh so thankful, that you would never forget this time in your life.
However how many times when the dust has settled have you realised, that when the going was getting a bit tough that you found yourself once more moaning, complaining and groaning.
Had you forgotten that time of deliverance when God answered your prayer of desperation?
In Numbers 20:16, The Bible leaves us the examples of the Israelites the scripture recording for us that whilst in Captivity in Egypt they cried unto the LORD, or more accurately they shrieked out in distress… These were a desperate people, but God heard their cry and delivered them in the most spectacular of fashion… Among other things they saw and were led by the Pillar of Cloud by Day a Pillar of fire by night, and the Ultimate deliverance where the waters of the Red Sea parted enabling them to flee the pursuing army.
Israel were obviously very happy and they believed in the Lord after all they had seen.
Notice Exodus 14:31 “And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.”
Unfortunately as with many cases there is a “but“ on the horizon and within a very short space of time they moaned and groaned desiring to go back to the very place that caused them so much distress in the first place.
Numbers 14:4 “And they said to one another, ‘Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.’ ”
From being thankful were they forgetting those times where God so clearly delivered them?
As Christians we mustn’t fall into the same trap, we cannot allow ourselves to moan and groan when all in life is not milk and honey.
Have we had our own Red Sea Experience, a time when we have been desperate, in real need of God’s Mercy and love, a time when we know that God has intervened…? If we have lets look at some points to help STAY in that frame of mind
Thankfulness Was Important to Jesus
Luke 17:12-19 is the passage where Jesus heals the Ten Lepers, but only one came back to give thanks. Jesus asked the one who came back ‘’where are the nine?”
In the time of Jesus, leprosy was incurable by human means, it isolated a person from his community. Had the other nine forgotten the stigma associated with it?
Spiritually, SIN isolates us from God, but through the shed blood of our Saviour we have access to being healed from the death sentence that it brings. Understanding the Spiritual depth of this gift means we should surely demonstrate our thankfulness by living according to His Word.
Thankfulness Shows our Trust
Colossians 3:15-17 shows us that if we are called from this world and its ways we can be thankful to Christ who should be dwelling IN US. If we have and are led by His Spirit then It shows our Father that we understand what has happened in our lives , yes we may have trying times, but through the indwelling and the teaching of the Holy Spirit, the Power of God in us , we can have total trust that by staying on the Path this demonstrates our thanks and trust to the One who called us.
Jesus the Perfect Example
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we see that it is the Will of God for us to be thankful in all circumstances.
Now cast your minds back to the evening just before Jesus was crucified , the mental anguish that Jesus was in, yet He still gave thanks for the Bread and Wine that were to be symbolic of His soon to be beaten body and shed blood.
Jesus Christ is our perfect example who throughout His life practiced what He preached.
These are just a few pointers to help us to be thankful on our journey along what may be a bumpy road to the Kingdom of God. So in those times ahead… remember your own personal Red Sea Experience, and continue to be Thankful, not Forgetful.