(Psalm 103:1) – Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! (NKJV; emphasis mine)
There are multitudes of Christians today that face death, imprisonment, starvation, beatings, banishment and worse. This message is not particularly for them.
Western Christians are a soft, self-absorbed, whiney bunch over all. (I know, not YOU… me either). It is such an obvious truth, I’m not going to take your time trying to justify it.
It’s not that we WANT to be that way, it’s just a by-product of our abundance, affluence and comfort. We cry about not having a bigger house because we don’t experience having our house burned down by those who hate God. We lament not having more money because we haven’t been denied all opportunity to have an income for professing Christ. We wallow in self-pity over discomforts because we haven’t been beaten or tortured for sharing the Gospel. We are constantly discontent with the level of our lifestyle because we never had to hide in the mountains and eat rats to escape being martyred.
So how can we avoid whining and self-pity, and become a people of joy and contentment? One way is to meditate on what God has done for us. Here’s a sample:
- God has pardoned you of countless sins and transgressions
- God gives you life and health every day, and eventually He will give you PERFECT life and health
- God saved you from an eternity in hell
- God shows us love and compassion every day
- God has blessed us with countless GOOD things: abundant food, clothing, shelter, comforts, pleasures
- God has protected us from evil that could destroy everything and everyone we know and love
- God is extremely patient with our failures, sin and fickleness
- God has dealt with us in love, rather than punishing us as we deserve
- God has removed your sinful debt as far as the east is from the west
- God deals with us every day with great compassion
- God is mindful of how weak and helpless we are
- God’s kindness is never ending towards His children
- God sees and knows everything about us
Far from engaging in self pity and constant whining, we should be the most joyful of all people. We should bless and thank the Lord with all our being. We should be marked by gratitude, contentment, rejoicing and blessing. Our conversation, responses and demeanor should be filled with appreciation and acknowledgement of God’s goodness to us.
There are millions of Christians today that truly suffer… I mean TRULY suffer. And yet, to our shame, they are often more joyful and thankful to God than we are. We? We, us, you, me… American Christians, Western Christians, Christians who live in relative peace and security and undeniable abundance. Read that list above again. Let those facts become your focus. Let those truths be what you speak about, think about and communicate to others.
By the way, that list is straight out of Psalms 103. The next time you are feeling a little sorry for yourself, read that Psalm and thank God for how good we really have it.
Lord God, help us to know how blessed we are. Most of the people reading this have never, and will never experience death, imprisonment or deprivation for being a Christian. Help us to be grateful and joyful, not whiners and complainers. Even more, help us to pray for and remember those who actually are suffering as Christians. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?