Monday, February 13, 2017

When you Grumble, You Are Forgetting God


Life is hard. I get it. It is very tempting to grumble and complain. I must also make a confession, I really need to grow in this area. I need His grace. If you struggle like me, I hope this will help encourage you like it did me.

Romans 1 speaks about the wrath of God. Not a really fun thing to think about but apart from Christ's intervention, we all deserve this wrath. Yet, because Christ stood in our place and we find ourselves in Him, we are no longer in danger of this wrath.

Despite this truth, we live and place ourselves in the same kind of picture that those addressed in Romans experience. The downward spiral of the wrath of God.

They Knew God but Didn't Love God
First, in Romans, God makes Himself known to the people but they refuse it. They don't love God. So in a response of not loving their loving Creator, they live for themselves. Christian, we must guard ourselves if we believe we are in Christ. In Romans 1:21, it states two things, they knew God but did not honor Him as God and they did not give Him thanks but became futile in their thinking.....

Later in Romans, Paul is making an appeal to the people of God to live as living sacrifices holy and acceptable to God because it is our act of spiritual worship (12:1). We do this by not conforming to the culture and renewing our minds (12:2).

God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to die on our behalf to make us right with God. When we forget this, we start to walk in dangerous territory of disobedience to God. We hurt the others around us and don't bring God glory (Philippians 2:14-16).

Essentially we are saying, God is not good. God is not giving me what I want. God does not love me. It is the classic attack from the enemy in the garden. Doubting God's love and goodness. Then we grumble.

Grumbling is an outward expression of what is going on in the deeper recesses of our hearts.
I have been reading through Exodus and I was baffled at how the children of Israel could grumble against God's goodness just 3 days after they escaped Egypt. They saw all the miracles against Pharaoh, crossed the Red Sea on dry ground, followed God who appeared as a cloud and pillar of fire yet, three days after they were finally free, they started complaining. Read it in Exodus 15:22-27.

God was still gracious to them. He continues this pattern over and over. He does things to test them. And testing is worthy of a new post. It is a good thing. It exposes the dark places of our hearts.

When I Grumble I Forget God
I should not be surprised at the children of Israel's grumbling, especially when I do it too. I have seen the greatest miracle, Jesus death and resurrection. I have the Holy Spirit living inside of me. I know that He is making all things new and coming back for us at the proper time. I know I am rested securely in God's love. There is no reason for me to grumble. But I do it.

God is still gracious and long-suffering when we complain. When we see this in our hearts we are free to repent and walk in the right direction again. There are a lot of strategies that God gives us through His word to help with this, worthy of another post. I am praying that God gives us the grace to stop our complaining and to remember God.

What do you often feel tempted to complain about? How do you deal with that? Have you even considered that grumbling is a sin?

Leave a comment, maybe we can help each other out by prayer and reminding each other to remember the goodness of God.


Ellen said...

I SO struggle with this...I do tend to complain about so much and I end up calling it 'venting'. I have read a lot about this lately and it *might* be a sign that I need to pause before I feel tempted to complain. As a mom I think I grumble about housework and the mundane tasks or about interactions with others that don't go my way...I complain when I can not control...and this is definitely an area I need to work on! Thank you for the timely reminder!

Elizabeth said...

It is so easy to complain and to judge the Israelites for complaining. Yet you are so right, we forget just as quickly as they do! Thank you for sharing this, the thought that we are FORGETTING God when we grumble is quite convicting!

Rebekah Thompson said...

This is so good!! I too, often wonder how we can grumble against our Heavenly Father when he shows us over and over again how faithful and gracious he is. Most of the time I find that I grumble most when I take my eyes off him and start looking around at what others have or do not have. Then I start to grumble and complain.

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