If you think you know God but do not live your life in gratitude before Him, it is doubtful that you really knew Him in the first place. A thankful heart honors God. Too often when we say we “know God,” what we actually mean is we know facts about God. But we should ask ourselves, “Do I truly know Him?”
Paul warns that just knowing doctrines about God is not enough to enter eternal life. He said, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:20-21).
Even though we may know God, if we do not “honor Him as God or give thanks” to Him in our daily walk, our minds darken. When we are in that hardened, ungrateful state of mind, every word we speak is a spark lit by hell, set to destroy the quality of our lives (James 3:6).
H. W. Beecher said, “Pride slays thanksgiving . . . a proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.” We should be thankful that we do not get what we deserve!
When God gives us less than we desire, it is not because He is teaching us poverty; what He is teaching us is thankfulness. You see, life — real life — is not based upon what we amass but on what we enjoy. Even in difficult circumstances God still gives us much to appreciate. We fail to see what the Lord has provided because our hearts are wrong.
Someone once said, “When I see a poor man who is grateful, I know if he were rich, he would be generous.” A thankful spirit is akin to a generous spirit, for both appreciate and receive the riches of God. When we are thankful with little, God can entrust us with much.
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