O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
Magnify Him with thanksgiving.
Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint.
Consider this Script, because It's from God: 'In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you' (1 Thessalonians 5:18): 'Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ' (Ephesians 5:20).
Even the bad stuff.
It's not easy to be thankful when things are hard, but thanksgiving confirms our faith in His Word:
' 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future' ' (Jeremiah 29:11); plans where 'All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose' (Romans 8:28)--even the bad stuff.
King David was a man of thanksgiving--especially in public. Because David was a public relations specialist. His job was to bring God glory, and He did it with magnificence.
Consider an opposing script. It's from Satan: 'His disciples complained' (John 6:61). The world expects complaint. Sometimes, it rewards complainers. But not God. In His Book, public complaint is never justified. He will not reward it.*
On the other hand, King David complained and got relief. True, but David complained privately, and only to God. Our Father knows we suffer. He is eager to relieve us. But our witness in public must show our faith. Like David. Like Jesus.
'He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His Mouth' (Isaiah 53:7).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: If you magnify God with thanksgiving (please do), you malign Him with complaint (please don't); When the children of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron, Moses said: 'Your complaints are not against us, but against the Lord' (Exodus 16:8).
Occasionally, your Director will hand you a tough Script: a scene you'd rather not play. But remember, He has great reasons for it--and a great conclusion in Mind. Consider one reason: to set you apart; to show the uniqueness of your character.
Because most people complain when things go wrong. It's the expected reaction, but we serve a God Who loves the unexpected. Surprises are His specialty. Even more, He directs His stars to act surprisingly different.
Therefore, 'Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world' (Philippians 2:14-15).
## Valiant! Like David: Thanksgiving (Part 35)
* Consider two previous AMTC Devotions on complaint:
1) 'Who Didn't Get There:' http://www.careylewisdevotions.com/who-didnt-get-there
2) 'An Obstacle To Overcome:' http://www.careylewisdevotions.com/character-development-part-5-an-obstacle-to-overcome
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Valiant! Like David series.