He blesses us because He loves us not out of obligation. And His blessings in our lives should in return glorify Him, not ourselves. I recently heard the saying “What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things that you thanked God for today.” Have you thanked God for anything today? Or would you wake tomorrow with only your dinner? But wouldn’t waking be His grace enough? Wouldn’t taking a breath be proof enough of his grace and love in your life?
I’ve come to learn one very important thing concerning gratitude. The enemy of a thankful heart is a jealous soul. You cannot be both thankful for what you have and at the same time be jealous of what your neighbor has. You either appreciate what the Lord has given you or you don’t. God blesses us all differently. He has different plans for each one of us. If you are jealous of what somebody else has or the kind of life they are living you’re declaring that you know that the rest of their life is going to be just as good as it is now. Don’t be that foolish. God can strip our blessings away in a heartbeat. And you have to decide if you’re still going to praise Him and thank Him even when it’s difficult.
Joseph chose God in the hard times. Joseph comes into God’s story at the end of Genesis. Joseph was a favorite son with many jealous brothers. His brothers threw him into a pit and instead of killing him they sold him off as a slave. Yet Joseph trusted God and gave thanks. He was falsely accused of sexual harassment by his employers wife and was thrown in jail. And he still praised the One who made him and thanked God for each day. Joseph later saved Egypt from famine because God had allowed him to interpret a dream of Pharoah’s. Which led to Joseph becoming the most important man in Egypt under Pharoah.
It all seems worth it when you read his entire life in a few short sentences. But to Joseph this must have seemed like an eternity. So many terrible things happening in his life, one right after another. Especially considering that every time he was faithful it seemed like somebody else was getting blessed except for him. But God was faithful to Joseph’s thankful heart. And you can see throughout his life that even if God hadn’t given him the second highest position in Egypt, if Joseph had stayed in jail his entire life for a crime he did not commit, he still would have thanked God.
And that is exactly why we should be thankful for what we have now. This life, this moment, it’s all we have. When all is said and done, there are no do overs. We get one shot. We all have the option to enjoy what He has given us and be grateful for every circumstance or we can look at others and believe that ‘we’re not good enough’ and ‘God must love them more’ and ‘why can’t I have that’ and allow the seed of jealousy to root itself deep within. You. Don’t. Know. Anyone’s. Future. Your jealousy of somebody now can quickly turn into prayers on their behalf tomorrow. Don’t assume you know their whole story. Be thankful for what has been given to you.