SCRIPTURE: The LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt?” NUMBERS 14:11
In the midst of a difficult situation, I would hear people complain about their circumstances. Their gripes were valid—they had some basis for their complaints—but they couldn’t see their blessings far outweighed their hardships. They were going through a difficult time, but not without God’s grace or guidance. They would come through it fully supported.
One day, when I had spent quite enough time hearing people complain about a situation they were going through, I asked God for something new about them that I didn’t already know. His answer surprised me: “Complaining is an act of faith.”
I thought about this for a long time after He said it. Complaining was an act of faith? If you complain about something, there must be some part of you that believes it can be changed. There must be some part of you that believes God can make things better than they are now.
If complaining is an act of faith, then what does that say about praise? Is praise also an act of faith?
The spirit of complaining is a virus that infects people and spreads quickly. It is often transmitted through the media, but it can also spread through social media or even just in casual conversation.
We all know someone who complains all the time, but there are times when it doesn't seem like such a big deal. When you're talking to them about something else and they mention something that bothers them, it's easy to agree with them and move on. And sometimes we've just had enough of our own problems that we don't want to hear about theirs.
But there are other times when complaining is more than just annoying; it's offensive. The Israelites complained to Moses about food and water in the wilderness, and God told Moses to take their complaints personally (Exodus 17:2). That's because God loves every one of us so much that He wants our happiness above all else (Deuteronomy 5:29). So when we complain about things like food or money or relationships, He takes those complaints personally because they affect His heart!
If you’re like me, you've had many moments where you've felt a little lost. Maybe it's because of a difficult relationship, or maybe it's just because you don't know what to do next.
But if there's one thing I've learned about life, it's that God is always with us—even when we don't feel His presence.
God gives us snapshots of life that make His Word intensely personal to us. It’s one thing to read about Him in a particular story, and another to find yourself in a somewhat similar situation that brings to life the relational dynamics of that story.
If we listen carefully, we will sometimes hear a whisper: “This is how I feel when . . .” That whisper may tell us of joy, delight, compassion, or zeal, or it may tell us of grief, jealousy, or anger —all emotions that Scripture assigns to God frequently. The result is greater sensitivity in our hearts to God’s nature and a greater bond of fellowship with His Spirit. When He shows us who He is, we have heard an invitation to draw closer.
Lord, I know from my own experiences how hearts are affected by negativity. May I never grieve Your heart that way, and may I always be sensitive to Your reactions to the words of Your people. Expand my empathy with You. God Bless, Take Care, And Make It A Great Day!