Waiting For God To Thank Us

No sane person says, “I’m waiting for God to thank me.” But in reality, that’s what the unbelieving world is thinking, and sadly, many professing believers are thinking the same thing. How do we, the chosen and dearly beloved ones of the Most High God, think the same atrocious and presumptuous way as unbelievers?

Every time we’re offended by someone, complain, and/or boast about what we have in the past, or are presently suffering, for Christ’s sake, we prove that we’re waiting for God to thank us, that is, give us the good we feel we deserve for what we’ve suffered. Boasting about anything save Christ, is the outward expression of someone who believes they’ve got the corner market on suffering, and therefore feel owed: respect, being well-thought of, friendship, and loyalty from whom they have suffered. And since as Christians, we believe God is sovereign, then when we participate in these arrogant acts of expressing whatever dissatisfaction we have in life, then we are in fact, waiting for God to thank us by rewarding us with whatever good we feel He’s keeping from us (cf. Gen 3:4-7).

But let us rather, strengthen our souls with what’s recorded in Luke 17:9-10—

Does he (the master) thank the slave because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, 'We are unworthy slaves; we have only done what was our duty.'

When you remember who God is and who you are, does not your my mind and heart and soul and all your strength, happily shout with all the saints in Christ, “I am an unworthy and most blessed slave of righteousness; I have only done what was my most happy duty.”? Fort even the provisions and ability to serve the LORD of hosts, are given to us by the Most High—it does not originate from us (Js 1:16-17, 1 Cor 4:7).

2. To plead upon sufferings for Christ is a dreadful mark of a graceless sufferer, Matth. 20:12-16. It is a sign men seek themselves and not the Lord in their sufferings, therefore they get their penny, the credit and reputation among the saints that they were seeking, and that is all.

3. What is the Lord obliged to us when we have suffered the loss of all? Have we done more than our duty; yea, than our interest led us to? If a beggar should come in, and crave his alms as debt, because, forsooth, he stood at your door, and would not go away, though a heavy rain was falling on him all the time, what would you think of his plea? So it is with us, if we plead the merit of our sufferings.
~Thomas Boston,
I Count All Things But Loss: 8 Sermons on Philippians 3:8-9,
Sermon V, Direction 1 - number

Amen. Rather than be owed good by the Almighty because of my sufferings, I owe Him more than I did before my sufferings. For as much a as I have suffered, and continue to suffer, much more did and does Christ my God abundantly grant me, grace upon grace (cf. Jn 1:14, 16-18).

If what we have suffered is our mantra—the very edifice of our lives, then we have surely built in vain. For no one who suffers for the name and glory of Jesus, would willingly repeat, advertise, promote their ministry or themselves, by their sufferings. No, they would rather willingly repeat Christ crucified (1 Cor 2:1-5), than adjure men to listen to them because of who they are and what they have suffered.

“In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” (Heb 12:4). No, this honor and this great work of purchasing eternal salvation for all the elect of God, from every tribe, nation, and tongue, is given to Christ our God alone. For He alone is worthy of such a great and noble task—for Christ alone is sinless, and alone, perfectly fulfilled the holy demands of God’s righteous decrees.

No person, save Christ Jesus, has ever suffered more than their sins have earned them. And any person who suffers anything (great or small) for the glory of God, has received more grace than they can ever deserve.

This is why God need never thank us for anything. Rather, we ought always thank God for every grace and mercy He deems good to grant us, because we know the immeasurable good we owe Him, and can never repay (Php 2:13-15, 2 Thess 5:11-18).

I am convinced that if I were able to thank God every nanosecond of my life, from conception and throughout all eternity, it would still not meet the thanks I owe Him for giving me His Son.