The Blessing of Gratitude, the Curse of Complaining
The following twelve point cure for complaining is the Word of God’s corrective to the spirit of entitlement and ingratitude that’s poisoning our culture, and too often the church as well. We are never grateful for what we think we deserve. On the contrary, we gripe and complain and think God and others are unfair if it doesn’t come to us.
Thank God we DON’T get what we deserve. There’s a four letter word for it: Hell. Christ took upon Himself what He didn’t deserve, so that I would not have to get what I deserved. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Meditate on 2 Corinthians 8:9 for a few million years. (We will—may as well get a head start.)
So, let’s all post this sign in our heads and hearts:
Thankfulness to God for His common grace and His saving grace and special graces to us each day is something that should fill our hearts and overflow our lips, and show our children and grandchildren and co-workers and neighbors the joy of Christ.
A 12 Point Cure for Complaining
by Bill Izard (www.bulletininserts.org)
Complaining is unbecoming of the true Christian and yet we are proficient at it. The cure is found in these verses. In Christ we are never hopeless or forsaken. Every trial has meaning. Meditate on this cure in order to change both your language and your heart.
1. God commands me never to complain.
“Do all things without complaining and disputing” (Philippians 2:14,nas).
2. God commands me to give thanks in every circumstance.
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
3. God commands me to rejoice always, and especially in times of trial.
“Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4); “Rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16); “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials” (James 1:2).
4. I always deserve much worse than what I am suffering now—in fact, I deserve hell.
“Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins?” (Lamentations 3:39)
“Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:2-3).
5. In light of the eternal happiness and glory that I will experience in Heaven, this present trial is extremely brief and insignificant, even if it were to last a lifetime.
“The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18); “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:19).
6. My suffering is far less than that which Christ suffered, and He did not complain.
“Who when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when he suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23).
7. To complain is to say God is not just.
“Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25)
8. Faith and prayer exclude complaining.
“I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).
9. This difficulty is being used by God for my good and it is foolish for me to complain against it.
“And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
10. Those more faithful than I have suffered far worse than I, and did so without complaint.
“…and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. All these, having gained approval through their faith…” (Hebrews 11:35-39)
11. Complaining denies that God’s grace is entirely sufficient.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
12. The greatest suffering, the worst trial or difficulty, can never rob me of that which is of greatest value to me and my greatest joy, namely the love of Christ.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).