We must never forget that our knowledge of God is a gift, not a given. What I mean by this is that we all too often presume that what we know of God is either something we gained by self-exertion, dedication, and study, or it is something we deserve, perhaps something that is our by right or entitlement. We should never treat the knowledge of God as a given. It is something He gives, and He does not give it universally. This is nowhere better seen in our Lord's words in Matthew 11.
"At that time," begins v. 25 of Matthew 11. At what time? Evidently, immediately following our Lord's denunciation of the people in Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum for their calloused indifference to the presence and power of the Son of God in their midst (vv. 20-24). It would have been easy, even understandable, for Jesus to get discouraged 'at that time.' After all, the very towns in which he was most well-known and performed his greatest miracles had treated him with utter apathy. They simply didn't care. If ever there were a "time" for complaint, this was it. If ever there were a "time" for bitterness and resentment, this was it.
But instead, Jesus gives thanks! He praises the Father! He delights himself in the reassuring fact that God is sovereign, that all things are under divine control, and that nothing, not even the stubborn unbelief of men and women can frustrate His purposes. The world's disdainful response was undoubtedly a source of pain to Jesus, but the Father's sovereign purpose was a more than sufficient remedy. As Bruner has said,
"Somehow and somewhere, behind and above a discouraging world, stands a poised Father, completely in control and utterly unfrustrated. . . . To believe that human beings are the final arbiters