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Thanks for everything!
Pastor Mike Novotny
by Pastor Mike Novotny
November 22, 2023

The pastors at our church gathered together to talk about grumbling, gratitude, and God. I asked them, “Who is the most grateful person you have ever met?”

One of my colleagues paused thoughtfully and replied, “My mother.” Despite dealing with chronic and increasing back pain in her older years, this dear saint refuses to give in to a grumbling spirit. In fact, as my friend recounted, she will catch herself getting close to the edge of grumbling but then pull herself back on to the holy ground of gratitude. “This is not how I envisioned retirement … but God is good!”

I love stories like that, perhaps because I’d love to mature into that kind of Christian. You too? If so, maybe we can start in the same place this sister in Christ does, that is, with Christ himself. Through Jesus Christ, God has an overwhelming number of good things to say about us. He promises we are chosen, holy, blameless, predestined, adopted, redeemed, graced, forgiven, saved, included, marked, and filled with the Holy Spirit. If that isn’t enough, he also declares we are justified, sanctified, purified, and will soon be glorified, the blood-bought gifts labeled “To: You” and “From: Jesus.”

Zip through those last two sentences, and the pain will probably pull you into grumbling today. But slow down and savor the goodness in them, and you might end up like my friend’s mother, giving thanks to God.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (Psalm 107:1).

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