I’m constantly reminded at different points and intervals of my life that every day I am given a choice, nearly as important, I think, as when the Lord first draws us to Him and offers us His grace. The choice is this: I can make my aim to bless the Lord or curse Him.
I believe this thought to be true in the Lord. If we are seeking His presence, filled with His spirit, and dwelling joyfully in Him, it will come naturally to bless Him. On the other hand, if we do not make these things our aim, we become much too self-absorbed, letting our joy be dictated by circumstance rather than by the inheritance we have and are blessed with every day (His mercies are new every morning!). When we get in this mentality of letting life’s troubles ruin our day, it is so much easier to be negative and take on a perpetually negative view of our lives – missing out on the small and large blessings we do have. It is so easy to identify the negative. We have a natural propensity to do it.
Even Job, who suffered terribly when Satan asked God for the authority to make Job miserable, was told by his friends and family that he should curse God (and die). In our earthly wisdom, Job, who loved God, deserved to be treated nicely and “fairly.” But he chose not to curse God, because he knew that his real inheritance was in the Lord – not in his livestock, land, clothing or health, or even his family.
The fact is that life does not seem fair, but we are redeemed in Christ. That fact is actually more important than whether or not our life is fair in comparison with everyone else around us, because God has given us more than we actually deserve.
How often do we let the little things get us bent out of shape, not to mention even one of these more monumental sufferings that Job went through? And how well do we endure long-term suffering, even? Do we let bitterness creep in and feel justified and mistreated? I fear that I can fall prey to it so easily, but I pray that I won’t!
Spurgeon has some great things to say on this topic:
Others may do what they please, and murmur, and complain, and be filled with dread and apprehension of the future; but I will bless the Lord at all times. I can always see something for which I ought to bless him. I can always see some good which will come out of blessing him. Therefore will I bless him at all times.
‘And this,’ says the Psalmist, ‘I will not only do in my heart, but I will do it with my tongue. His praise shall continually be in my mouth,’ that others may hear it, that others may begin to praise him, too, for murmuring is contagious, and so, thank God, is praise; and one man may learn from another–take the catchword and the keyword out of another man’s mouth, and then begin to praise God with him. ‘His praise shall continually be in my mouth.’ What a blessed mouthful! If some people had God’s praises in their mouths, they would not so often have fault-finding with their fellow-men.
‘If half the breath thus vainly spent’ in finding fault with our fellow-Christians were spent in prayer and praise, how much happier, how much richer, we should be spiritually! ‘His praise shall continually be in my mouth.’
One final thought: I will feel justified in my flesh if I forget the work of the Lord in my heart. And conversely: I will have no confidence in the flesh if I remember the work of the Lord in my heart. It changes everything about our perspective.
I know that I’ve shared the link to this song before, but it encourages me every single time I hear it, and the Lord definitely gets it stuck in my head all the time, too, and drives me to listen to it when I need to hear it again. If you’re needing a push to bless the Lord today, I really really recommend listening to it. If you take it to heart and pray the words yourself, you will probably be refreshed and lifted up, at least a little bit. 🙂