May 20, 2017

God Is Weary of Ingratitude

Malachi 2:17

You have wearied the Lord with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying . . . “Where is the God of justice?”

—  Malachi 2:17

I often have to quote these words to myself. It is easy to blame God when things seem unfair. A few years ago I had the privilege of visiting Haiti. I learned that my own hardships and complaints of injustice are often minor compared with those suffered by people in other lands. Many of our frustrations and inconveniences are merely “first-world problems.” That helps me keep things in perspective.

Many of the people in Malachi’s day were fairly well off. Life was not always fair, but others had it far worse. Yet they chose to focus on the few people who had it even better, and they complained that God was unfair. God eventually answered their complaints by saying they had most of it backwards. But for the moment it was sufficient for God simply to say he was weary of their complaining.

God has given us life itself. He sent his Son to die for our sins. The very food we eat and the clothes we wear are provided by God. I’ve met so many people from poorer countries than mine who seem to understand that fact a lot better than we do. They are less likely to complain about what they don’t have and much more ready to thank God for what they do have.

I’m thankful for their example!

Dear Father, thank you for all your provisions. Please give us our daily bread, and forgive us when we complain that we haven’t received more. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Scott DeVries

Scott DeVries has served as a church pastor and as a ministry ­coordinator in the Holland, Michigan, area. He currently works at ­facilitating connections between the more than twenty ministries and 1,100 churches of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. He has a passion for prayer, church organization, and studying the Scriptures in their original languages.

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