1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

Psalm 82:3 mission

Psalm 82:3  Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.

You saw all the pictures of the kids in the hallway that need a sponsoring family.

No parents, many with health issues who have great joy.

Video

 

Faith, little boy in red shirt, is leading the singing

I will do my best as a scholar …

Then they sing about their day – brush my teeth, pack my bag

I get on my knees and pray to God

The joy of the children is what has captive me.

 

Stories of three orphans in Liberia, Africa who don’t have anyone sponsoring them.

 

Are you joyful? Are you thankful?

Do you ever complain?

Are you ever ungrateful for what you have been blest with?

What first world problems do you struggle with day to day?

 

No milk for your cereal could ruin your whole day and make you mad at your wife.

What a tragedy – you didn’t get the iPhone you wanted; you have to wait for your computer to update; you have to walk to the other room for your changer.

 

The silliest things upset us; frustrate us and make us angry.

What are we thinking?  How childish are we?

 

You left your drink in the kitchen and you can’t decide what to eat.

We do have real problems also but much of what upsets are trivial, insignificant troubles.

 

What irritates you that you should be thankful for?

We need to get a grip and have a proper perspective.

 

My computer running slow, slow internet, slow lines at a fast food restaurant, no good shows on TV

People complain about their lousy job, their ungrateful, difficult family, their aches and pains

Complain, complain, complain

 

Kids and adults in third world countries would love to have our problems.

Why do you think so millions come to America illegally?  How many are waiting in line legally to have the problems we have as Americans.

 

Video – Can you imagine these people in Haiti saying and meaning these things?

 

Slide of shoes

The life we complain about is the life most people dream of having.

How hard is our life?

We are such a pampered generation; we are less content and less grateful.

 

It is time to be a thankful and grateful people in all circumstances.

Physical blessings – we are healthier than sick, see, hear, taste, smell,

We have food, shelter, cars, phones, clean water, more stuff than we know what to do with

Emotional blessings – we are loved, we have family, parents, kids, friends, church family

Spiritual blessings –  Jesus loves you and is coming to take you home to be with Him.

Uncle John died last week and they put a fork in his hand as he lay in the casket

– heard of this but never seen it.

He was looking forward to something better.

He was looking forward to going home.  In a moment that he understood what was going on he asked if he was going to get to go home.  His family told him no.  He said, I will get to go to my heavenly home.  In the face of suffering and grief we are blest spiritually because of Jesus.

 

How hard is your life? How hard is your life compared to others around the world?

If you think you have it bad your scope of comparison is too small.

We have very few problems. What we have is a lack of perspective.

We complain and grumble from where we are instead of where we could have been.

 

We need Snoopy’s attitude.

Some years ago, the cartoon pictured Charlie Brown bringing out Snoopy’s dinner on Thanksgiving Day. But it was just his usual dog food in a bowl.  Snoopy took one look at the dog food and said, “This isn’t fair. The rest of the world today is eating turkey with all the trimmings and all I get is dog food. Because I’m a dog,” he said, “all I get is dog food.” He stood there and stared at his dog food for a moment and said, “I guess it could be worse. I could be a turkey.”

 

Are you going to complain or find something to be thankful for?

Do you ever say, “I hate this” “That is the most frustrating thing” “ugh”

 

Are we a thankful people or are we complainers?

 

What does God think about complainers and those who are not grateful?

The people have just been delivered out of slavery for a few months, they passed through the Red Sea to safety – are they thankful?

Numbers 11:1 Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.

 

God is not going to sit idle by and listen to your whining.

 

Numbers 11:4 The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! 5  We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost–also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. 6  But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”

 

Complaining angers God – complaining breaks God’s heart.

Complaining is a communicable disease. One person starts complaining and others join in.

Let’s all try it – give me your best whine.  (a bunch of 2 year old’s throwing a tantrum)

 

Complaining makes you lose focus and perspective.

If it were so great in Egypt under slavery, why didn’t the complainers just stay.

All the food they ate in Egypt was free? They have been in the sun too long; they were slaves.

 

Complaining is a sin; don’t start it and don’t join others in their complaint.

 

Philippians 2:14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15  so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe

 

Do everything without complaining! Go the rest of the day without complaining.  When you start catch yourself and replace it with a gratitude.

Sharing struggles is different than complaining. It is about your attitude and tone.

We are to share our struggles, sharing comes from an attitude of humility and vulnerability.

 

Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

 

I don’t know what to do in this situation at work, can you help?

Vs

I can’t believe my boss is such a jerk.

 

Change your attitude and make your complaints your concerns. Your problems may just disappear.

 

Put God’s word into practice and be thankful.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:16  Be joyful always; 17  pray continually; 18  give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

 

God wants you to have joy, He wants you to talk to Him and He wants you to give thanks.

When you spend time with Jesus you will be able to have the right perspective to give thanks no matter what is going on. When you give thanks, you will have joy.

 

Would you rather be full of joy or complaints? It is your choice.

Being joyful and thankful doesn’t depend on your circumstances, it depends on your attitude toward God.

 

Vicki’s post about Michael. (Dad holding Michael – dad died 4 years ago and Michael 20 years ago)

Friend wrote: These pictures are so lovely, but it just breaks my heart

Vicki wrote: Please don’t let it break your heart. It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. I am thankful for the seven weeks that God allowed us to have Michael, and I rejoice that I have a few memories captured through photographs. AND, I am THANKFUL for the promise of heaven!

 

Thankful in all circumstances.

 

We have one major problem life – death.

That problem has been solved through Jesus death, burial and resurrection.

So our biggest problem is our biggest praise.

Jesus Paid It All

 

Will you accept what Jesus did for you on the cross? Will you admit you are a sinner who needs forgiveness?

Will you repent of your sin and be immersed into Jesus for the forgiveness of your sin and receive the indwelling gift of God the Holy Spirit?

 

Come today