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Are You Ungrateful When God Says Yes?

I’ve been in ministry since (roughly) 2006. I began as a youth volunteer, then was an intern while I went to college, then I became a director of Youth for my home church, and then was ordained in November of 2011. Since then, I’ve done various ministries, from Children’s and Youth to homeless and community outreach, to various small things, both in official and voluntary capacities. One common and consistent thread I’ve seen throughout my ministry is that people pray for specific things, then don’t quite like it when the prayer is answered exactly as they want it. “I want my spouse to be the man/woman God wants them to be,” “I want my kids to follow Jesus with everything they are,” “I want to be financially sound so I can serve God better,” “I want the right job so I can serve God better,”  and more. I’ve heard so many prayers like this. I’ve seen many prayer like this get answered…and when they WERE answered, I’ve seen many people on the receiving end say “Well…that’s not exactly what I meant.”


People with Children and Spouses who suddenly find a zeal for the Lord often realize they had control issues, and the freedom in Christ messes with that. People who get financially sound realize that new car, boat or house is looking mighty nice, and God will still be there when they retire. People who get the right Job find that they have more time to pursue things they wanted to, and so their desire to serve God takes a back seat. And it just goes on and on. What I’ve found, and I include myself in this, is that we might have the right intentions, but we’re just, generally, ungrateful, and really want to pursue ourselves rather than Christ. If God grants us blessings, or if He answers prayers, we might WANT to be grateful, but our selfish tendencies sometimes (or a lot of times) get in the way. We exist to give God glory. Every good an perfect gift comes from Him, and so we should use every answer, every blessing, every hardship and trial, every circumstance to sing His praises. Loved ones, when God answers, follow through. Don’t fear it, don’t fight it, praise God, and seek Him out, and rejoice in both the plenty and in the need. God is faithful. Let us strive, then to be faithful as He is faithful, that we may be Holy as He is Holy.


 Philippians 3:12-4:13


Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.


Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.


4 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.


I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.


Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.


I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

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