November 23 I Wednesday
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” —James 1:17
One of the basic things that parents teach their children to say is, “Thank you!” What are we to be thankful for? There are some fairly obvious things that we can be thankful for. As James writes, in the opening verse of this devotion, we are to be thankful for the good things that we enjoy. We ought to cultivate a habit of thanking God for good things, which is why it is a good habit to thank God every time we eat, thank God for the beauty of the sunshine, thank God for His beautiful creation, thank God for the clothes that we have, thank God for the shelter over our head, thank God for our health—there is much to be thankful for!
May we not take things for granted. Sometimes, we spend time bemoaning what we do not have instead of being grateful for what we do have. Bemoaning what we do not have is actually a sin, because one of the Ten Commandments says, “You shall not covet” (Exodus 20:17). In other words, we should not want what we have not got; on the flip side, we should be grateful for what we have got.
Some people have a disposition of grumbling about everything. There was a lady in a country church who seemed to be an incurable grumbler, constantly complaining about everything. At last, her pastor thought that he found something about which she could be happy, because she ran a little farm. That year, her crop seemed to be the finest from miles around. When the pastor met her, he said with a beaming smile, “You must be very happy. Everybody is saying how healthy your potatoes look this year.” The lady responded, “Yeah, they’re pretty good, but what am I going to do when I need bad ones to feed the pigs?” There are some wonderful people who always find something good to be thankful for; and there are some miserable people who always find something to grumble about.
There is an ancient proverb that says, “I wept because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” Sometimes, when we see other distresses, it is good to remind ourselves of what we do have. As the old hymn goes,
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Have we counted our many blessings from God today?
Prayer: Dear God, You have blessed me tremendously. Thank You for my life, my family, my friends, the church, my food, my clothing, my shelter and my security. Teach me to always be grateful for what I have. Amen!