"If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get." – Frank A. Clark
Scripture reading: Genesis 3:1-7
The term ‘consumerism’ refers to a social and economic order that is based on the systematic creation and fostering of a desire to purchase goods and services in increasing amounts. In many westernized countries, the insatiable lure of materialism has created a system where people are not content with the abundance of things that they possess. Unfortunately, this state of discontent has crept into the church of God where many believers become oblivious of the great blessings of God in their everyday lives and rather, they complain of the few things that they don’t have. In his hymn "Count Your Blessings" Johnson Oatman Jr. wrote, "When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed; when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost; count your many blessings, name them one by one; and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done; count your blessings, name them one by one; count your blessings, see what God hath done; count your blessings, name them one by one; and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done."
Our scripture reading for today reveals the ageless lie of Satan used to disenfranchise many believers from the manifold blessings of God. The serpent craftily engaged the woman with the question, "Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?" – Gen. 3:1b. He deceived the woman into forgetting about the 99.99% of the things on the earth that were under the sole control of man and rather became fixated on the 0.01% of things that she didn’t have. The first Adam had control of everything on the earth including the "Tree of Life" but believed in the lie of Satan into thinking that he was not complete without access to the "Tree of knowledge of good and evil." Instead of being deceived into seeing the cup as half empty, man could have seen it as half full. Let us assume that the devil had began the conversation with the true observation of man’s status on earth as the following, "Wow, so you’re in charge of the entire earth and all these resources are at your disposal except only one tree? How blessed and fortunate you are!" I believe that the end-result of their encounter would have been different. Man would have seen his indescribable blessings and would have been undoubtedly very grateful to God.
As you set out today and henceforth, learn to count your blessings and name them one by one. Do not fall into the ageless trap of the devil in concentrating on the few things that you don’t have. Instead, acknowledge and appreciate all the great things that God has blessed you with. The needs of human beings are insatiable and the old nature will never be content with just material things. You must set your affections on the things above where Christ sits on the right side of the Father. Do not compare yourself with others. Be thankful to God for all His blessings and daily benefits in your life. As the hymn writer said, "Count your blessings, name them one by one; and it will surprise you what the Lord has done."
Memory verse: "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." – 1 Thess. 5:18
Rev. Dr. Isaac Paintsil ©