Being Thankful for Our Salvation
Read Colossians 2:1-7
“Having been firmly rooted and now built up in him and established in your faith…and overflowing with gratitude.”
The opposite of thanksgiving is complaining and complaining breeds discontent. When we start to nit-pick about something or someone, we will soon abandon our relationship with them in search of greener pastures. What or who we grumble about soon becomes what we abhor and reject. This is true of the people we associate with, the businesses we patronage, the church we belong to, and even the person we marry. It usually starts with a single complaint about what the other has done or not done. Before long the single complaint becomes an avalanche of criticisms as we start to find fault in everything they do. In the end, it leads us to a fracturing of any relationship or association we have with them.
It is not surprising that we find in the midst of warning the Christians in Colossae, Paul reminds them of the importance of remaining thankful. Paul is writing them because he is concerned that they are being misled by false teaching. While he commends them for their faith (vs 5), he recognizes that faith can quickly turn to delusion when confronted with persuasive arguments (vs 4). Our walk with Christ can be derailed when we become discontented and start to question God’s word and purposes. Instead of being steadfast and firm, we start to listen to the Midas song of displeasure as we want more and more. The result is that we become easy prey for false teachers who make promises and saw what we want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3).
To counter this temptation, Paul reminds the church of what Christ has done for them. When they initially accepted the offer of Christ’s salvation they rejoiced in his redemptive work. Before Christ, they were caught in the web of destructive sin as their lives were dominated by immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires, and greed (3:5). Instead of the hope of salvation, they were living under the wrath of God (3:6). But all this changed with Christ, who not only delivered them from these things but brought a whole new life, elevated them from the tragedy of a sinful world, and set their hope upon the eternal promise of God. Instead of being dead in their sins, they were made alive with Christ, having been forgiven of all their sin (2:13-14). This brought overwhelming gratitude for God’s work in their life and the salvation he gave.
But the wonder and joy of salvation can easily become clouded with the drudgery of life. We soon lose the sense of wonder and joy. Instead of being thankful for what God has done for us, we become frustrated for what he has not done. Like Midas, we are never content with what we have, we always want more. Consequently, our gratitude is replaced by ungratefulness. When this happens, the false promises of false teaching becomes appealing and we abandon the truth of scripture in search teacher who appeases our lust for sin.
This brings us back to a life of thanksgiving. We avoid the lure of abandoning God when we remain thankful for what he has done. When we give thanks, we are reminded of God’s gracious work to deliver us from the clutches and destruction of sin. This is what binds our hearts to him. Does your faith seem empty? Has the joy of the Christian life been replaced by the dullness of everyday life? Does God seem distant and uninvolved? The answer lies in the expression of unceasing thanksgiving. Instead of grumbling about what we think God should do, spend time giving thanks for what he has done. It will elevate your faith and bring renewed hope to your life.