Pastor Craig added a new message to our series The Great Attitude of Gratitude. Here is the recap he shared on his blog. Be sure to scroll down to find the link to watch the entire message.
It wold be nice if complainers were satisfied just complaining to themselves, but they’re not. Do you know the cliché misery loves company? It’s just as true for complainers: They really want others to join them in their bellyaching!
I think a good word for what these negative people do is ambush. The dictionary says that means to lie in wait with hostile intent. Jesus told His followers that this ambushing behavior was going to happen. In Luke 6:22, He uses the word “when” not “if”—
Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
We see this vividly portrayed in the life of Daniel. This man had done nothing but helpful things since the moment he arrived in Babylon. He faithfully served foreign kings, never wanted any recognition for himself, saved lives, interpreted dreams, and explained confusing things. He had a great work ethic and impeccable integrity. But the complainers still wanted to ambush him (see Daniel 6:1-5).
One psalmist described these ambushers in terms of a hunting lion: His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue. He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims (Psalm 10:7-8).
Doesn’t this sound like what the devil does too? Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
I already shared with you that gratitude is our shield for defense, but the Bible tells us that gratitude is also our sword for offense!
Jerusalem was surrounded by three armies that were lying in wait to ambush the Israelites. After God told the people of Jerusalem that He would deliver them, King Jehoshaphat sent out his army with the worshippers at the front of the ranks. Then listen to how worship not only thwarted the ambushers but boomeranged their evil plans back on themselves—
As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. (2 Chronicles 20:22-23)
When we worship God and sing our grateful praise to Him, we put the sword of God in our mouths. And there isn’t a more effective sword against the darkness than the (S)Word of God (Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:16; Ephesians 6:17)!
So when the ambushers are surrounding you, use your thankful songs as a shield, as a sword, and as an encouragement to others!
If you’ve missed any of the other messages in our series The Great Attitude of Gratitude, you can find them all here.