From “Growing in the character of a disciple”: Chapter 3 – Cultivate the attitude of thankfulness until it is a habit
Most of us tend to make the mistake of being overly fixated upon our current difficulties, whatever they happen to be, and forgetting the many times that God has helped us or rescued us in the past. For that reason, God regularly urged the Jewish people to remind themselves of the many ways that He had provided for them, or helped them, in the past and to believe that He would do so again. Here is a short passage where the Psalmist says that the people forgot what God had done for them in the past. He then begins to list some examples of God’s help:
11 They forgot what he had done,Psalm 78:11-15 (NIV)
the wonders he had shown them.
12 He did miracles in the sight of their fathers
in the land of Egypt,
in the region of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea and led them through;
he made the water stand firm like a wall.
14 He guided them with the cloud by day
and with light from the fire all night.
15 He split the rocks in the desert
and gave them water as abundant as the seas;
It is good to do the same and remind ourselves daily of our own personal experiences of God’s past provisions and the ways He has rescued us, even if they are not as dramatic as those provided through Moses. It will adjust our attitude, as well as pleasing God.
God is especially pleased and touched when we thank Him in difficult circumstances
If you are struggling to see why thankfulness matters so much to God, try to imagine a situation in a family involving a parent and a child. Imagine that a child has looked forward to a day out at a theme park such as Alton Towers. But then it cannot go ahead, because the weather is too bad, so it has to be cancelled. Instead, the parent can only take the child to a cinema instead. What if that night, when being tucked up in bed the child was to say “Thank you for taking me to the cinema today”.
That remark would be very touching to the parent and would be remembered long afterwards. Contrast that however with a child who was to complain to the parent and blame them for the cancellation of the trip to Alton Towers. That would be painful. Isn’t it just the same with us and God? He is a parent and He feels the same emotions that you or I would feel when faced with such grateful, or ungrateful, words from our own child.
Why the Devil and his demons hate it when we are thankful
We’ve seen some of the reasons why thankfulness and praise are so important to God and so beneficial to us. It follows, therefore, that the demons who are assigned to obstruct you will not want you to be thankful. They will try very hard to stop you. They know exactly how much it matters and how much depends on it.
Be motivated, therefore, by the very fact that the demons don’t want you to give thanks. Let that very fact spur you on, all the more. Resolve that if the demons don’t want you to give thanks, then that is all the more reason to do it.