When I was 10 years old, we had a huge snowstorm that left a snowdrift in front of our house. A week later, it had repeatedly thawed and frozen again, been driven on, walked on, and compacted to a sheet of ice. My mother instructed me to take a shovel and clean off the steps and sidewalk by chipping this ice away. I’d had to do this before. It was a hard, time-consuming job, and I didn’t want to do it. But she persisted. Angrily, I began my task, muttering to myself: “I wish I was John Biles, (a rich friend my age). I bet he doesn’t have to do a job like this.” When my mother overheard this, she scolded me thoroughly, saying: “You should be ashamed. You have a good family, a nice home, plenty of food, and everything you need. You should appreciate all you have.”
Believers often are miserable because they focus on what they don’t have instead of being thankful for all we have in Christ. Many churches and individuals are also weak and defeated because they do not understand all we have in this new Dispensation of Grace. To equip and encourage the saints, Paul listed some of our spiritual riches: “…we have boldness and access [to God] with confidence…” (Ephesians 3:12). Old Testament saints did not have boldness to approach God’s presence. When the holiness and majesty of God were displayed through “…the thunderings, and the lightenings… and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off” (Exodus 20:18). They were afraid God might strike them dead. So they asked Moses to speak on their behalf. In contrast, in Christ, we now have boldness and access to God. In ancient times, as in the days of Esther, even the queen had to have permission to see the king. If a person entered without permission, it usually meant death. But today, we have access to God any hour of the day. We also have the strengthening of the Spirit of God within our inner man (Ephesians 3:16), the ability to fully “comprehend with all saints” the breadth and depth of the love of Christ (vss. 17-18), and God’s working on our behalf “…exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…” (vs. 20). We have many great spiritual blessings.
Don’t make the mistake of focusing on things you don’t have. Thank God for these spiritual riches that you do have, and rejoice with a grateful heart.
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