A subway car was overly crowded, which caused several people to be forced to stand. Naturally, most of them were griping about the situation. As the car pulled into another station where still more people boarded, one man who was standing said to those coming aboard, “I hope you people like standing because we’ve been doing it for a long while.” He didn’t see the crippled invalid who was helped aboard the train and graciously given a seat, but the invalid heard the comment. To it he somberly replied, “You are fortunate.”
Please don’t hypocritically judge the fellow who was standing. The fact is, he could have been any of us. Speaking personally, his complaint sounds just like something that I would have said. It’s just typical human nature, isn’t it? But that doesn’t make it right or pleasing to God.
Hebrews 13:15 says:
Therefore by Him (Jesus) let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
Christian, I ask you, how are you doing at continually offering the sacrifice of praise to God? What form is the fruit of your lips taking these days? Are you in the habit of giving thanks to the name of the Lord? Truth be told, our answers to these questions probably leave much to be desired.
The Lord knows that you have legitimate problems. He also knows that life can oftentimes be a difficult game to play. But through it all He remains forevermore worthy to be praised. Even during those instances in which you don’t feel like praising Him, He is still worthy. The secret is to train yourself to count your blessings. As the old saying goes, “Count your blessings one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”
You see, even that crippled invalid who was boarding that train wouldn’t have had to look very hard to find something for which to be thankful. He could have been thankful for the people who helped him get aboard the train. He could have been thankful for the person who gave up his seat for him. He could have been thankful that someone in his condition could get aboard a train and travel to distant places, places he could never have seen on his own. Do you see my point?
So in the midst of all your grumbling and complaining, make yourself stop and be thankful for all the good things that God has sent your way. And if you can’t come up with anything, be thankful for the fact that Jesus Christ (God the Son) left heaven, took upon Himself human flesh, lived without sin among men, died on a cross to pay the sin debt for the sins of the world, arose from the dead, ascended back to heaven, and now offers salvation and forgiveness of all sin to anyone who will believe in Him as Savior. Trust me, that one item right there should be enough to keep you thankful for all eternity.