Are you are tired of the news and all the economic reports? There's a lot of doom and gloom talked about, but I think it's exciting time to be alive right now because everything is moving so fast. The danger is getting caught up in a doom and gloom mentality. If that happens to us, it's hard to be thankful.
You may be thinking, "Thankful, with what I'm going through, are you nuts?" The reality is if you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead, a little money in the bank, then you are among the top 8 percent of the world's wealthy.
Since the Lord has given us so much, does He want us to thank Him? Does God expect us to be grateful? In Luke 17:11-19, 10 lepers come to Jesus to receive healing. As they obeyed the command of the Lord they were all healed and yet only one comes back to thank Him.
In those days lepers lost fingers, toes and ears and their flesh would be eaten away. They were forced to spend their entire lives quarantined from everyone. How long it had been since they hugged their wife or kissed their kids or got together with friends?
It was a big deal that Jesus healed them " it was life changing. Yet only one of the 10 lepers came back to express thanksgiving to Jesus. Verse 15 says he threw himself at the feet of Jesus and with a loud voice glorified God. Jesus then questions the ingratitude of the other nine in verse 17.
What captures me is the gratitude of the one leper " what an awesome picture of thanksgiving. With the same intensity that he cried out for mercy, he now glorifies God thanking him. The more desperate we are, the louder our prayers become and when our prayers are answered, we whisper praise and thanksgiving to God.
The same zeal that we seek help is the same zeal to praise the Lord. Psalm 92:1 reminds us to begin and end every day with a prayer of thanksgiving. Proverbs 13:2 says, "a man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth."
This proverb tells us that it all depends on how you look at things. If you focus on the half of the glass of water that's empty, then you don't have much to be grateful for. But if you focus on the half that has water in it, then you recognize and appreciate the blessings you have and you have reason to be grateful. So you will enjoy your blessings instead of focusing on what you don't have.
The truth is we are all abundantly blessed, even if you're struggling now because of the financial woes we all face. I'm not saying to stick your head in the sand and say life is great when times are tough. Examine the water in your half full glass and take the time to truly give thanks to God as the one leper did. Choose to rejoice in the Lord with that same passion. It pleases Him and He is worthy of all our praise.
n Ron Mogab is pastor of Cornerstone Christian
Fellowship and is a member
of the Carson Valley Ministers' Association.