Imagine for a moment that your city were surrounded by enemy forces who aimed to destroy you. And you are aware that enemy sympathizers live and work in the city with a view to undermining the city’s defenses. And suppose you discover that there is song which the enemy and their sympathizers cannot tolerate or approach. Whenever they hear it, they pull back and run the other direction.
Isn’t it certain that you would want to learn this song? And after you learned it you would sing it when you went to bed at night and when you got up in the morning. You would sing it on the way to work, and whenever you were among strangers. And as your confidence grew you would even venture outside the city and sing it as you walked boldly through the enemy lines on your way to another town. The more deeply imbedded in your mind the song became, the more steady and deep and serene and fearless your life would become. Others would see and hear and learn the song from you. And in the end you would conquer the enemy, and there would be no threat at all.
Well, we are surrounded by the enemy—namely, Satan and his forces. He is “the father of lies” (John 8:44). His weapons are deceit and delusion. His aim is the destruction of your faith and love.
And there are enemy sympathizers inside the city of our own souls—namely, the desires of the old self.
And there is a song that Satan and his sympathizers cannot tolerate or approach—namely, the song of thanks to God. –John Piper from Guard Yourself With Gratitude
I find the battle raging today. The old self with its tendencies toward grumbling and complaining, self-pity and selfishness conspires with the Enemy who tells me my help comes from a change in circumstances, or escape from my duty here. I am grateful for the reminder that gratitude is a guard for my soul today.
Beyond the immediate very tangible and abundant mercies around me, I am grateful for the source from which they come: my Savior, Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect life, never grumbling or complaining; never indulging himself rather than doing his Father’s will; always giving pity to others not Himself. He died my death. He took upon Himself the punishment my grumbling, complaining, disobedience, and self-pity deserves. I now stand forgiven, justified, and adopted. I who am weary today come to Him who is gentle and humble in heart. Gentle, humble in heart, and yet ruling and reigning in power and wisdom and authority…seated at the right hand of the Father. Worthy of all glory and honor and praise is He. How grateful my heart is for the beautiful Savior. Ah, sweet peace!