Why am I ungrateful at times? Discontentment reveals I am taking delight in something other than Jesus Christ. It reveals I’m looking to my circumstances for joy, not to the God of my salvation.
This is just the opposite of a woman Charles Spurgeon spoke of:
“I have heard of some good old woman in a cottage, who had nothing but a piece of bread and a little water. Lifting up her hands, she said as a blessing, “What! All this, and Christ too?”
This woman realized that Jesus Christ was her all in all. He was her bread of life, her spring of living water. Jesus was her treasure and all her joy was in him. That’s why she could rejoice in a crust of bread and a little water. Her joy came from Jesus, not her circumstances.
When we look to the things of this world to provide our joy we will always be disappointed, for we have been designed to find our satisfaction in God alone:
Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food. Isaiah 55:1-2
God tells us not to spend our money for that which is not bread. In other words, don’t live for the things of this world. They are like plastic fruit, which might look tasty, but ultimately won’t satisfy. Pursue him who truly satisfies, Jesus Christ, the bread of life. If we have Jesus we don’t need anything else. If we have Jesus, then all other blessings are just extras – icing on the cake.
If the poor woman Spurgeon mentioned could rejoice over a crust of bread, how much more should we be thankful who not only have Christ but have a thousand other blessings in our lives. How about you? Can you say this about your life today – What! All this, and Christ too?
Can I suggest a simple practice that will bring joy into your life and help cultivate thankfulness? After a time in God’s word in the morning, I try to take 10 minutes and write things I am grateful for in a journal. I write things as simple as “Thank you for the sunshine and warm weather,” or “Thank you for my eyesight and hearing,” or “Thank you that I got to spend time with my granddaughter yesterday.” Or I might thank God for spiritual blessings, like, “Thank you for saving me and washing all my sins away,” or “Thank you for giving me eternal life” or “Thank you for your steadfast love and your mercies new every morning.” I usually write no more than a page. This habit sets the stage for my day, and reminds me to thank Jesus throughout the day for his unceasing mercies. Give it a try.
Rejoice in Jesus today. Look around and echo the poor woman Spurgeon mentioned: What! All this, and Christ too?