Tag: Complaining

The Remedy for Complaining

Jim Cymbala90x115by Jim Cymbala

When Christians experience joy today, it has a much more powerful impact on the world than it did decades ago. Why? Because the entitlement mentality so prevalent in our society leads many to feel justified in their anger. We may think, “The government, my employer, my family — someone for sure! — owes me big-time. I’m entitled because my life has been hard. You have no idea what I’ve been through.” There is often a deep resentment in that kind of complaint.

If you carefully analyze international affairs, national politics, call-in radio shows, blogs, labor disputes, and race relations, you find a worldwide epidemic of venom and bitterness. It’s everywhere and, sadly, it has also invaded the Body of Christ. It is the exact opposite of the joyous living that Jesus intended for all of us. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).

Centuries before Jesus said those words, joy was already understood as an important facet in the life of God’s chosen people. Moses instructed them that the blessings of God were granted so that “your joy will be complete” (Deuteronomy 16:15). Enjoying God’s presence produced an even deeper joy than any material blessing (Psalm 21:6), and God’s people were to continually celebrate his goodness with “songs of joy” (Psalm 107:22).

When singing a song of joy, it wasn’t only the lyrics or melody that made the song worshipful; the singers needed a heart of joy for all that the Lord had done for them. God was more interested in joyful hearts than vocal ability — that’s why David’s attitude pleased God so much. Although surrounded by enemies and under intense stress, David didn’t complain or get bitter. Rather, he went to the tabernacle and made sacrifices with “shouts of joy,” saying, “I will sing and make music to the Lord” (Psalm 27:6).

We Christians have been forgiven, cleansed, justified, and sealed with the Spirit — and we will live eternally with Christ! Joyous singing, shouts of praise, and exuberant thanksgiving are certainly in order. Although there is a time to “be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10), we should also remember to “sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob” (Psalm 81:1).

by Jim Cymbala

What a pleasant life you would have

Grace Gems Whiteby Thomas Boston

“Affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble spring from the ground!” Job 5:6

“I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things!” Isaiah 45:7

“The LORD brings death, and makes alive; He brings down to the grave, and raises up. The LORD sends poverty, and wealth; He humbles, and He exalts.” 1 Samuel 2:6-7

Affliction does not rise out of the dust or come to us by chance.

It is the Lord who sends affliction, and we should own and reverence His hand in it.

Let the people of God comfort themselves at all times by the doctrine of divine sovereignty. Amidst whatever befalls them, they should rest quietly and submissively in the bosom of God, considering that whatever comes to pass proceeds from the decree of their gracious Friend and reconciled Father, who knows what is best for them, and will make all things work together for their good.

O what a sweet and pleasant life you would have under the heaviest pressures of affliction, and what heavenly serenity and tranquility of mind you would enjoy–if you would cheerfully acquiesce in the good will and pleasure of God, and embrace every dispensation, however sharp it may be, because it is determined and appointed for you by the eternal counsel of His will!

See here the evil of murmuring and complaining at our lot in the world. How apt are you to quarrel with God, as if He were in the wrong when His dealings with you, and not according to your own desires and wishes!

You demand a reason, and call God to an account: “Why am I thus? Why so much afflicted and distressed? Why so long afflicted? Why such a severe affliction rather than a lighter one? Why am I so poor, needy and afflicted?

Thus your hearts rise up against God. But you should remember that this is to defame the counsels of infinite wisdom, as if God had not ordered your affairs wisely enough in His eternal counsel.

Our attitude should be that of Job’s, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.Job 1:21

by Thomas Boston