This past Sunday, my friend, Rich Good, made a statement in his sermon that I can’t shake.
Not that I want to shake it.
But you know how there are things you hear that keep pinging around in your head.
In a message on living with a posture of thankfulness, he said, “Gratitude is the appropriate response to grace.”
In view of the gospel, being thankful to God just makes sense.
It’s as appropriate as cheering for a touchdown that wins the game or saying “mmm” aloud after the first bite of chocolate chess pie with homemade whipped cream.
Gratitude is the expected reaction to grace. If there isn’t excitement after the score, the fan just doesn’t get it, or they’re not really a fan. No “mmm” after chocolate chess pie and we assume the absence of taste buds.
As it relates to the spiritual life, an ungrateful disciple of Jesus is someone who has lost sight of the cross, minimized its implications, or lost sensitively to the sweet taste of grace.
Sadly, I can relate to such blindness, minimization, and loss of sensitivity.
A spirit of entitlement resides deep in my flesh. It reinforces the world’s insistence that…
- I deserve better.
- I deserve more.
- And I don’t deserve the hard, the bad, and the ugly.
Hard, bad, and ugly are real. Not only do these things lead the evening news, but they also stare back at me in the mirror. The brokenness in the world and in myself rises up as physical suffering, emotional distress, spiritual angst, etc.
As Paul assures us in Romans 8, suffering is not an anomaly in the Christian life. It’s par for the course.
You may be there now.
Yet even when life is hard, bad, and ugly, gratitude is still the appropriate response to God’s grace, which is ever present for the child of God. Even when we can’t see it or feel it.
This is not to minimize the anguish of suffering. It’s to maximize the presence and power of a good Father in the midst of…