Complaining: To express feelings of dissatisfaction, resentment, pain, etc.; To make a formal accusation.
Exodus 16:7-8 “. . . and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?” Moses also said, “You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”
Devotion for Complaining
I often find myself thinking about how much the Israelite people complained. Although, I’m almost certain that I would have been included in the complaining group People often say, “How could they have complained so much when God was revealing himself in such mighty ways and protecting them in so many ways?” First, God showed himself to be mighty, through Moses & Aron, with the plagues of blood, frogs, gnats, flies, killing the livestock, boils, hail, locusts and finally the death of every firstborn son of all the Egyptians. One would think that these thing would have been enough for the Israelites to trust God or maybe it was just making them even more afraid! God didn’t stop with the plagues, He continued their deliverance by marching them safely through the Red Sea. He continued protecting them, day and night, with a pillar of cloud and fire. He provided manna from heaven, quail and water to sustain them during their journey to their promised land. Granted, they had been through some heart-breaking and tortuous times, but now God was on the scene, working on their behalf. So, I wonder why all these things weren’t enough to keep them from complaining?
If you compare Christians with the Israelites, there is one important difference. We have the empowering benefit of the indwelt Holy spirit. God has not only given us his word, but his precious Holy spirit lives within us. Our spirit man has actually been reborn; the Israelites didn’t have this advantage. They walked the earth entirely in the flesh, without the power of God from within. Our advantage is staggering in comparison!
However, even with the advantage of the indwelt Holy Spirit, we can still be found complaining: “Why is it taking so long for God to answer my prayers?”, “It seems like we never have enough money to pay our bills!”, ” I hate my job, I wish I could quit!”, “I have such a bad headache and yesterday, my back was killing me. When is God gonna heal me!” and my favorite “If I have to listen to her complain one more time, I’m gonna scream!”. We all know people who are habitual complainers and have been guilty of complaining ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a complaint is necessary. However, being around a constant complainer is very draining and has a way of weighing us down, until we feel almost as bad as the complainer!
I once read a book entitled, “Learning to Know God as Provider.” It’s a relatively small book, that I would highly recommend reading. The book was primarily about trusting God to provide for all our needs. However, one point, in particular, has always stayed with me. Complaining is basically saying, to God, that his provision for you just isn’t good enough. At our jobs, we have placed a monetary value on our services, and we complain if we receive less than that amount. Complaining about it, is the same as telling God that his provision just isn’t good enough. Did you trust God for the job, then trust that he is providing. If you complain about the high cost of groceries, clothing, housing or a car, you might as well be telling God that he isn’t able to provide the best for you.
We can call God by another name; Jehovah-Jireh or the Lord will provide. It is that simple, God is our provider. He was the Israelites provider, but they simply didn’t trust him to continue to provide for them. As soon as things got a little tougher and the days turned into weeks, the complaining began. Would you complain about Manna from heaven . . . the same food, day after day after day . . . sure you would, I would too! But think about receiving food directly from the hand of God . . . you know it had to provide all the nourishment they needed. God gave them everything they needed, but not everything they wanted . . . there is a huge difference!
Would you like to stop complaining? Do you want to trust God completely, in good times and bad? Join with me as I offer this prayer to God, our provider; “Father I give my life and needs to you. Forgive me for the sin of doubting you and complaining. Especially now, I present to you all of my physical needs; my health, food for my body, my home, clothing, a job, every need I may have (add your own needs). I praise you for being Jehovah-Jireh, my Provider. I will not worry about my finances and other needs I have. I will never again complain about high prices, nor will I complain about my income. I trust that you will provide. I will have no anxiety about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, I will let you know my requests. I thank you Lord, that you do provide all of my needs, according to your riches in glory, through your precious son Jesus. Amen!” Philippians 4:6 & 4:19
Do I struggle with complaining? Sure I do, I’m human! But, I find that I don’t complain nearly as much these days. In closing, I’d like to share a thought God gave me one day, that I have hanging on my desk: Mumbling & murmuring destroys what your believing for; Only faith creates & produces your desired results!
Psalms 144:14-15 There will be no breaching of walls, no going into captivity, no cry of distress (complaining) in our streets. Blessed are the people of whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.
Philippians 2:14-15 Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God, without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe . . .