The Gravity of Gratitude
By John Piper
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful . . . (2 Timothy 3:1–2)
Notice how ingratitude goes with pride, abuse, and insubordination.
In another place Paul says, “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking . . . but instead let there be thanksgiving” (Ephesians 5:4). So, it seems that gratitude, thankfulness, is the opposite of ugliness and violence.
The reason this is so is that the feeling of gratitude is a humble feeling, not a proud one. It is other-exalting, not self-exalting. And it is glad-hearted, not angry or bitter. Bitter thankfulness is a contradiction in terms.
The key to unlocking a heart of thankfulness and overcoming bitterness and ugliness and disrespect and violence is a strong belief in God, the Creator and Sustainer and Provider and Hope-giver. If we do not believe we are deeply indebted to God for all we have and hope to have, then the very spring of gratitude has gone dry.
So, I conclude that the rise of violence and sacrilege and ugliness and insubordination in the last times is a God-issue. The basic issue is a failure to feel gratitude at the upper levels of our dependence.
When the high spring of gratitude to God fails at the top of the mountain, soon all the pools of thankfulness begin to dry up further down the mountain. And when gratitude goes, the sovereignty of the self condones more and more corruption for its pleasure.
Pray for a great awakening of humble gratitude.