You can tell an ungrateful person by the nature, length, and number of his or her complaints. What many of Believers complain about is not worth a draw of blessed breath. Ever try praising God for the breath you are taking and complain in the exhale? Me neither.
Complaining is like gossiping about God to the Devil. If you have any problems about how He is monitoring and blessing your life, take it up with Him. But come plain before Him—not complain.
That appears as a cheesy cliche, but there is a worthy message in it. But first, here are a couple of verses to consider.
“The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.”— Proverbs 15:19
“And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.” — Mark 7:35
The Hebrew word for “plain” in that verse is “sawlal,” to exalt or make the righteous one seen.
In the second verse, the Greek word for “plain” is “orthōs,” meaning, in a straight manner, correctly (also morally), rightly.
In other words, when you come boldly before the throne, come plain—upright, and speak correctly. That privilege of coming was given to us to obtain help in times of need. Complaining only warrants pity as a response.
Now we come to the nuts and bolts of the issue. When one’s complaint rises to the level of a need, God knows it before you speak it. (Matthew 6:8) When your complaint is because of a growing or purging trial, because of a bad decision, because you have developed an entitled mindset—believing you are one of God’s special ones and should be treated likewise, you may not COME PLAIN before Him. You will likely complain.
The fact is, someone somewhere in the world, with every second of life, is suffering rather than denying Christ. I feel guilty when I lay in my comfortable bed each night. We are privileged to be in a nation where we have not suffered significantly for Christ’s sake. Please do not ever forget that everything worthwhile you do for God will come at a price. You will either fight a battle to do it or be blindsided while celebrating a victory. The Believer is most vulnerable to an attack after a victory.
Life in the Temporal Realm is not like living on a large game board where we push things around and score points. We are all in the struggle of life where the choices of navigation are by light or by darkness. Darkness is more compelling to the carnal mind because the danger is mostly hidden. Light exposes everything and that is uncomfortable for most people.
“…strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many TRIBULATIONS enter the kingdom of God.’” — Acts 14:22
The only way to stay on the path is to stop complaining about being on it. The Devil regards complaining as asking for his help. Like one of my friends once said facetiously:
“Noah’s wife may have complained, ‘I don’t like this boat. It is cramped and the animals stink.’
Noah may have replied, ‘I agree—but it is the only thing afloat.’”
The question is: “Would you rather swim or float?”
If you are a true Christ follower, you may not always like where the path leads and what you encounter on the journey. You may struggle and experience the effects of the battles. But it is the only path to eternal life. Don’t unnecessarily complain. Be thankful that you left the path whose travelers have much to complain about.
I memorized the following verse long ago. It took years for it to sink deep into my soul. I hope that my complaints were not permitted to stink up heaven before my prayers became incense. How grateful I am that God is patient and merciful to us in our weakness and ignorance.
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, IF indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are NOT WORTHY to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” — Romans 8:16-19
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