Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Secret to Overcoming Grumbling and Complaining

It is easy to thank God when you wake up feeling rested and eager to meet a new day, when the sun is shining and the birds are singing, when you hear laughter coming from the children's rooms, when your husband is in a good mood, when the pantry and freezer are full of the staples needed to put together a meal, when you walk into a clean kitchen, with a shiny sink and a clean dishwasher full of dishes and a pot of freshly-brewed coffee to help you start your day.  Don't you agree?  

But what about when you wake up grumpy and tired, when storms are brewing within and without, when the pantry is bare and the bank account is empty, when the kids forgot to run the dishwasher and the coffee pot is broken, when the future is uncertain and the trials of life are pressing down on you.  Do you thank God then??  

I know that the Bible says to give thanks in all things, whether I feel like it or not.  But, I must confess that sometimes I don't care.  I find it hard to give thanks for my circumstances.  Some days my unthankfulness may stem from a mountain of small irritations and disappointments; and other days it may be because of huge, heart-wrenching trials.  But it doesn't matter.  I am commanded to give thanks in all things.

Fortunately, I do have a thankful spirit most of the time.  But every now and then, I find myself grumbling and complaining and refusing to trust God.  I never thought about it before -- but suddenly it became clear to me.  In the same way that it irritates me when my children grumble and complain, God despises it when I complain and refuse to trust Him.  

However, did you know that God has provided an "insurance policy" to keep us from being destroyed by this sin??  I learned this amazing new insight this morning in my favorite devotional:
"Let thankfulness temper all your thoughts. A thank-ful mindset keeps you in touch with Me.  I hate it when my children grumble, casually despising my sovereignty.  Thankfulness is a safeguard against this deadly sin.  Furthermore, a grateful attitude becomes a grid through which you perceive life.  Gratitude enables you to see the Light of My Presence shining on all your circumstances.  Cultivate a thankful heart, for this glorifies Me and fills you with Joy."

No matter how difficult our circumstances, we are commanded to keep our eyes on God, to trust Him, to thank Him, and to rejoice in Him! Have you ever considered Habakkuk 3:17-18??

Though the fig tree may not blossom,Nor fruit be on the vines;Though the labor of the olive may fail,And the fields yield no food;Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,And there be no herd in the stalls, Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,I will joy in the God of my salvation.
How about you?  Have you learned the secret to maintaining a thankful, joyful spirit in spite of your circumstances??

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1 comment:

Wendy said...

Lovely, uplifting post!

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