On September 1, 1923, Japan was hit by a terrible earthquake. It covered about 45,000 square miles with two of its largest cities 70% destroyed. There were fires everywhere and a tsunami with 40-foot waves. In the end, over 140,000 people perished and over 5000,000 were injured. There were over 3 million people left homeless and all the basic items needed for survival were in short supply. Basic things such as food, water, and medical supplies quickly disappeared. The whole country was shattered by the earthquake.
But then help came! Help from America for those who were helpless in Japan. We sent ships loaded with food, clothing, medical supplies, and volunteer workers. The American Red Cross collected over ten million dollars from people of the United States for the suffering and homeless. During one of the worst catastrophes of the 20th century, America was there leading in the search and rescue. The Japanese were grateful. News correspondents from around the world recorded their words, “Japan will never forget.”
However, Japan did forget! Twenty-two years, 3 months, and 7 days later Japan sent warplanes to attack Pearl Harbor, and they proclaimed that America, brought to her knees, would beg for mercy. Over 2,000 Americans were killed by that attack.
I can also remember another group who soon forgot. The children of Israel had seen miracle after miracle by the hand of God. Things such as the parting of the Red Sea, the cloud that led them, or their daily meal of manna, just to name a few. But Scripture declares they too soon forgot (Psalm106:13).
Let’s not be too quick to criticize. Because in many ways we, too, forget the blessings that God has bestowed upon us. Do you want to know how to tell when we have forgotten God’s blessings? It is in the words we speak. Scripture says that whatever is in our heart is what comes out of our mouth (Proverbs 4:23). If we are always griping and complaining instead of thanking and praising, we, too, have become like the children of Israel (Exodus 16:2).
We go to bed in a warm house and have food in the pantry and clothes in the closet, yet we complain. We look at the house down the road, the car in the neighbor’s driveway, or the shoes on our friends’ feet, and complain about what we do not have. Instead, we should be looking at our house, the car in our driveway and the fact that we have shoes on our feet and be thankful for God’s blessing. Let me finish by simply saying, you are blessed. Did you know that in the book of Genesis alone, there are 88 times that Scripture speaks of His blessings? If you are saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, you have no reason this holiday season to complain.
I have included a few Scriptures below for us to mediate upon concerning the blessings we have in Christ.
A Few Scriptures About How Blessed You Are
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 NIV
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17 NKJV
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10 KJV
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 John 1:2 KJV
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 NRSV
If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Matthew 6:30-33 MSG
Now to him who by his power within us is able to do far more than we ever dare to ask or imagine—to him be glory in the Church through Jesus Christ for ever and ever, amen! Ephesians 3:20-21 PHILLIPS
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 NKJV