Everlasting Gratitude

One Strong*s Concordance definition of grace:

. . . the divine influence upon the heart, including gratitude. . . .

One of the first things to come out of the mouth of one who has received Christ as Saviour is often Thank you! I encourage them to thank the Lord and not me. They quickly understand that I didn*t do much for them by sharing the gospel with them and that God did everything that was miraculous and necessary to save them. In this lifetime our gratitude to God is often intermittent, inconsistent and misdirected. I believe that our gratitude will be perfect and constant when we get to heaven. The more constant our gratitude to Him is here on earth the better our lives will be. I believe that first joyful and intense flush of gratitude you had when you received Christ will go on forever.

Gratitude to God is what He wants us to have. It is an altogether appropriate thing for us to have. I don*t know of a feeling or an attitude that I have enjoyed more than gratitude to God. Even saying thank you to our fellow men blesses the speaker and the hearer. How much more are we blessed when we say thank you to Him. No wonder then that He instructs us so frequently in the Bible to give thanks.

1 Thessalonians 5:18: In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon on 2 Thessalonians 2:16b: . . . everlasting consolation . . .

*Consolation.* There is music in the word: like David*s harp, it charms away the evil spirit of melancholy. It was a distinguished honour to Barnabas to be called *the son of consolation*; nay, it is one of the illustrious names of a greater than Barnabas, for the Lord Jesus is *the consolation of Israel.* *Everlasting consolation*-here is the cream of all, for the eternity of comfort is the crown and glory of it. What is this *everlasting consolation*? It includes a sense of pardoned sin. A Christian man has received in his heart the witness of the Spirit that his iniquities are put away like a cloud, and his transgressions like a thick cloud. If sin be pardoned, is not that an everlasting consolation? Next, the Lord gives His people an abiding sense of acceptance in Christ. The Christian knows that God looks upon him as standing in union with Jesus. Union to the risen Lord is a consolation of the most abiding order; it is, in fact, everlasting. Let sickness prostrate us, have we not seen hundreds of believers as happy in the weakness of disease as they would have been in the strength of hale and blooming health? Let death*s arrows pierce us to the heart, our comfort dies not, for have not our ears full often heard the songs of saints as they have rejoiced because the living love of God was shed abroad in their hearts in dying moments? Yes, a sense of acceptance in the Beloved is an everlasting consolation. Moreover, the Christian has a conviction of his security. God has promised to save those who trust in Christ: the Christian does trust in Christ, and he believes that God will be as good as His word, and will save him. He feels that he is safe by virtue of his being bound up with the person and work of Jesus.

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