The atheist may say “I don’t believe in God.” He says it with the breath that God gives him. Having emptied his lungs by saying it once, he must inhale God’s good air to say it again.
We have forgotten the gracious hand which has preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving Grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.
If all be a gift, see the odious ingratitude of men who sin against their giver! God feeds them, and they fight against him; he gives them bread, and they give him affronts. How unworthy is this! Should we not cry shame of him who had a friend always feeding him with money, and yet he should betray and injure him? Thus ungratefully do sinners deal with God; they not only forget his mercies, but abuse them. ‘When I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery [Jer. 5:7].’ Oh, how horrid is it to sin against a bountiful God!–to strike the hands that relieve us!
The Lord’s prescription for my ungrateful heart is a simple one. He asks me to intentionally choose to live each day in gratefulness. When my heart meditates on all that He has provided me through his death and resurrection, there is no room for bitterness. When I choose to make joy the foundation of my life, resentment and judgmental attitudes find no place in my dwelling place.