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Getting a Grip on Gratitude

Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them? Numbers 11:22

The years of weariness caused by chronic pain and frustrations with my limited mobility had finally caught up with me. In my discontent, I became demanding and ungrateful. I began complaining about my husband’s caregiving skills. I griped about the way he cleaned the house. Even though he’s the best cook I know, I fussed about the lack of variety in our meals. When he finally shared that my grumbling hurt his feelings, I was resentful. He had no idea what I was going through. Eventually, God helped me see my wrongs, and I asked my husband and the Lord for forgiveness.

Longing for different circumstances can lead to complaining, and even a form of relationship damaging self-centeredness. The Israelites were familiar with this dilemma. It seems they were never satisfied and always griping about God’s provision (Exodus 17:1–3). Even though the Lord cared for His people in the wilderness by sending them “bread from heaven” (16:4), they began craving other food (Numbers 11:4). Instead of rejoicing over the daily miracles of God’s faithful and loving care, the Israelites wanted something more, something better, something different, or even something they used to have (vv. 4–6). They took out their frustrations on Moses (vv. 10–14).

Trusting God’s goodness and faithfulness can help us get a good grip on gratitude. Today we can thank Him for the countless ways He cares for us.

For more, read Cultivating a Heart of Contentment at discoveryseries.org/hp052.

Grateful praise satisfies us and pleases God.


When we read about the anger of the Lord (Numbers 11:1, 10), it’s important to remember that His anger is not like our own. We’re inclined to lash out in fear, irritability, or a desire to get even. God’s anger is a consuming fire of love that burns in the conscience and results in consequences for those who turn their back on Him. What could give us more reason for gratitude than to know that “the Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love”? (Psalm 145:8).

Mart DeHaan

By |2018-10-12T12:38:42-04:00October 29th, 2018|
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