There is a story of a man who died and went to heaven. As Saint Peter was showing him around, the man noticed a complaint box. The man asked why there would be a complaint box in heaven. Saint Peter replied, “Well, heaven is a place of perfect happiness…and some people just can’t be happy unless they complain.”

Have you ever met people who are always complaining? Unfortunately, life has them in spades. They are never happy. Regardless of the situation we may be facing today, one thing is for certain. God made this day, and He wants us to rejoice in it. We can choose to rejoice and be glad, or we can choose to grumble, gripe and complain. Choosing the latter course of action does not change the circumstances. It just sours our attitude and outlook.

Have you ever wondered if there is a way to deal with life’s circumstances? Well, there is.

Give thanks.

Try asking Jesus to help you be thankful today, no matter what your circumstances are. As your focus shifts from your circumstances to the Lord, your viewpoint will shift.

That doesn’t mean that our lives will be easy. On the contrary, we are called to battle against the devil and his angels. Psalm 118, which was born in battle, is for us as well as for ancient warriors.

This psalm is a psalm of thanksgiving. It offers thanks for God’s mercy that is seen in the salvation He accomplishes as He fulfills His Covenant with His people. The psalm also gives thanks to God for delivering His people from their enemies so He can bless them with His bounty. As we pray for people to be delivered from sin, we must also pray for them to be filled with God’s Spirit and blessing. God withholds eternal death as punishment for sin, replacing it with His kindness, love and compassion.

The psalm is also a blessing for those who come to Christ in faith. Jesus comes to us in God’s name and rolls back the kingdom of darkness. Intercessions, blessing and sacrifice are all consummated in praise. God delivers us from our enemies so we can worship Him, honour Him and delight in Him. He is the mighty king. He deserves our submission, and He alone should receive our glory.

Unfortunately, not everyone is thankful for what Christ offers. In fact, they reject Him. In verse 22, the phrase, “The stone that the builders rejected” refers to Christ. The image comes from ancient quarries. Highly-trained stonemasons carefully chose the stones used in construction. The cornerstone was the most important stone. The integrity of the entire structure depended on the cornerstone containing exactly the right lines. If the cornerstone was not exactly right, the entire building would be out of line. For that reason, builders inspected many stones, rejecting each one until they found the one they wanted. In the parable of the vineyard, which is found in Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10-11 and Luke 20:17, the rejected son of the vineyard owner is likened to the rejected stone which becomes the chief cornerstone. Christ was that rejected stone and the vineyard owner’s son. The Jewish leaders were the builders of the nation of Israel.

Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith. We can live with thanks and rejoicing because we have been saved. Jesus has saved us from sin, and that is a reason to give thanks every day of the year.

 

Bibliography

 

  1. Jeremiah, David: The Jeremiah Study Bible: New King James Version (Brentwood, TN: Worthy Publishing; 2013, p. 1291-1292)
  2. Pete Briscoe, “Experiencing Life Today.” Retrieved from Crosswalk@crosswalkmail.com
  3. Williams, D. & Ogilvie, L.J.: The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Vol. 14: Psalms 73-150 (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 1989; pp. 336-339)
  4. MacArthur, J.F. Jr.: The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers; 2006)
  5. Stanley, C.F.: The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible: New King James Version (Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles; 2005)
  6. Jim Liebelt, “Show Up for Life.” Retrieved from www.homeword.com
  7. Pastor Jeff Schreve, “The Choice to Rejoice.” Retrieved from pastorjeff@fromhisheart.org
  8. Dr. Ray Pritchard, “The Stone that the Builders Rejected Became the Cornerstone?” Retrieved from Jesus.org@crosswalkmail.com

 

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