THANK GOD IN OUR JOURNEY
Exodus 16: 8-12
Moses said, “This will happen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, for the Lord hears your grumblings which you grumble against Him. And what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”
Verse 10: It came about as Aaron, “Say to all congregation of the sons of Israel,’ that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.
Verse 11: The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ” I have heard the grumbling of the Sons of Israel; speak to them, saying, “At twilight, you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread and you shall know I am the Lord your God”
It is easy to praise and thank God when we reach our destination but we should learn
how to praise Him in our journey.
All of us are blessed by God.
What are those things that we are thankful for?
Is it that most of the time we praise Him for what was given to us.
Most people today are thankful and praise God when they arrive at their desired destination.
But the challenge is, can you praise and thank Him in your journey?
THE GRUMBLING ISRAELITES
Looking back on the life of the people of God, He had promised them that they will be brought to a place of flowing milk and honey.
To a land given they will call their own.
The Israelites were being led by Moses to a place promised by God to them, but life in the wilderness is not easy.
In the beginning, they can see their destination but they were disillusioned by their situation.
When you are conquered by your current situation, you tend to forget the destination.
When you are overwhelmed by your distress, you forgot to hold on to the promise.
This is what happened to the Israelites.
They were excited to leave their suffering behind because they believed in God for a promised deliverance and relief, but the wilderness is their test.
Instead of praising God on the journey, they blamed God and Moses for their fate.
So they started to complain, to murmur and grumble.
Transition is not easy.
Transition is a challenge.
That is why only a few love change.
We can relate with the Israelites because most of us when we are in transition and when things are not working well, we look for someone to blame.
We put blame even on people who wanted to help us.
We blame our situation on our parents, our boss, our employer, our colleagues…
The people questioned Moses and asked if they were brought to the wilderness to be put to death as there were no food, no water, and no comfort.
Sometimes we focus more on our current experience that we forgot why we are really in transition.
Instead of appreciation, when the blessings become normal, we tend to consider the blessing as an obligation.
LOSS SIGHT OF THE PROMISE
When people focus more on their situations, we lose sight of the vision and a promised provision.
HOW TO PRAISE GOD IN OUR JOURNEY
1. LOOK AHEAD FOR THE PROMISE
Never thank God only because you reach the destination or you achieved your goal, or you have been successful in your life.
God’s promise is like a boarding pass in your hand, believe that you will reach your destination.
When you have your boarding pass and you know you are on the right plane, don’t worry.
The plane will take you to the desired airport even when there is a re-route.
Our hope will be more if we always look ahead to the promises He has for us.
We have to praise Him for there is something more and better that awaits us.
Even in times that we don’t see it clear enough, always believe in His Words for God’s promises are true.
In my Father’s house are many mansions, I will prepare a room for you.
Praise Him because He is taking us to where He wants us to be.
When God says so, consider it done.
As Paul says in Phil 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
2. LOOK BEHIND WHERE YOU COME FROM
Phil3:13 “but one thing I do forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.”
God is always taking us to a better place where we are right now.
We can truly praise God when we know where we are going and thank him more when we look back knowing where we came from.
Looking back gives us the ability to know that we are progressing, that we are moving.
A journey is about movement.
Life is a journey and no matter how slow and fast it is, our life should always be moving forward.
Past is a history to learn. It had a good memory to cherish and to treasures and bad memory to learn and fuel us to move forward.
We cannot make friends with the past if there is someone and something greater waiting for us in the future.
We cannot stay where we came from otherwise we will impede growth.
You will appreciate it now when you look back and see yourself back then.
Isn’t it that a lot has changed?
Isn’t it that today is better than what it was?
3. LOOK INSIDE FOR THE PURPOSE
We can praise God, even more, when we look within ourselves, for the ultimate purpose of why we are in transition.
Before we grumble and complain, try to see first what is behind the suffering we are into right now.
When we know the purpose and our goal, consider that God is preparing us for something big.
Learn to wait on the Lord and He will renew our strength like the wings of an eagle.
Why? So that in waiting we prepare ourselves to carry the weight of the blessings that He has about to give.
Maybe your situation is hard and difficult because you’re preparing for your retirement. It’s hard because you need to save and be tight on your finances.
Your situation is difficult because you’re supporting your family back home.
But be thankful because, despite your situation, you are strong, healthy, and continually blessed by God to support them.
If you know the purpose inside of you, everything that you face is a challenge to overcome.
The more challenge you overcome, the more you grow in your character.
The more we become excited and the more we will appreciate when the blessings come.
We therefore praise and thank Him for the blessings that are about to be given but also the training and lesson it gives while waiting for it to come.
We thank God not because He is killing us or inflicting us with more pain or difficulty but He is training us and equipping us to adapt to the new territory He prepared for us and me.
Sometimes we thought that God is against us.
So we thought of something that we could do by ourselves and thought we think well than God.
GOD KNOWS BEST
One afternoon there was a man who is under the Duhat tree to take a siesta and He saw a duhat fruit. He said to himself “I think there is something wrong, why did God let this small fruit of duhat grow on a tree while pumpkin buds out on a soft and small vine where it’s larger than the duhat.”
While pondering, a duhat fruit fell on his face. Then he exclaimed “Ah God knows best! If that duhat fruit that fell on my face is a pumpkin, then I’m done. Dr. Belo will be having a hard time fixing a battered face”
God knows best and His purpose is always best for you.
My plan for you is not to harm you but a future.
4. LOOK OUTSIDE AND BE ENCOURAGE
Most of the time when we look outside and see what is happening on the television, hearing the news, we will be discouraged.
The economy is in recession, the market is down, my stocks are red, and there are news and rumors of termination and much more. All of this will discourage us.
But looking outside will also help us to be encouraged because, despite any global concern happening around us, we are still blessed.
We are still alive and being protected by God.
Looking outside helps us to see how God blesses the ants, the lilies, and the birds.
If they are blessed, how much more that God could not bless me.
Looking outside gives us more reason to thank God
Looking outside shall encourage us to appreciate what God is doing to others and help us to look into ourselves to be thankful for what we have.
5. LOOK ABOVE FOR THE INSPIRATION
When everything goes wrong, always look up for inspiration.
Like Job who lost everything in his life still blesses God and thanks to Him for all that he had.
Look up and thank God for what you have.
Thank Him not only when you received favors but in all circumstances give thanks to God.
Journey in the desert is not easy but Moses reminds them that in their forty years in the wilderness, their feet had not swollen.
For forty long years, God never missed a single day without Manna falling from the sky.
When they were bitten by snakes, God asked them to look upon a serpent rod and they were healed.
God’s presence was with them always for He was fire by night and a tower of clouds by day.
Never question God in our situation till you look up for inspiration. You will be amazed to know that what you have in your transition is nothing compare to what God prepared for you at your destination.
There are many things in this world we don’t have control over, but look up and thank Him who is always in control.
START COUNTING YOUR BLESSINGS
Is it that most of the time we count the things that we don’t have?
I don’t have this latest I-phone, I don’t have a job, I don’t have this, I don’t have that.
It’s easier to count what we don’t have yet we don’t count the value of what we do have already.
If we start to count our blessings, soon we will stop counting anymore.
What we don’t have will outweigh the values of what we have
Count your blessings until you can’t count them anymore.
May you thank God always in your journey.