Stop Complaining!

Stop Complaining!
Praising God While Focusing On Our Blessings

Now when the people complained, it displeased the LORD; for the LORD heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the LORD burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp. Numbers 11:1 (NKJV)

Have you every had anyone tell you how lucky you have it?  Have you ever had someone older tell you about how they walked 20-miles a day in snow to go to school or some story like that?  Can you remember you mother or father telling you, "Stop complaining" when you were making a fuss about something you didn't like?

Fact is we can all be tempted to complain about something.  I am sure most of us can or will justify our complaining by pointing to the flaws of those people or things we are complaining about, but is this what God wants for us?  I don't think so.  

In the Book of Numbers we see the Israelites complaining about the provisions God was giving to them.

Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: "Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!" Numbers 11:4-6 (NKJV)

These people were focusing on what they didn't have and gave no praise for the things they did possess.  God had freed them from slavery, He had made them a new nation, and He was giving them a new land for them to possess.  And still they chose to look back at what they had in Egypt while in slavery.  The funny things is they must have forgotten the feeling of the whips on their backs, because that was their payment for having those things they were now longing for.  

We can read this story and think to ourselves, these people were ungrateful and foolish to be complaining.  But if we do so, we must be honest and ask ourselves this question,

Q:    Are we any different than the Israelites when it comes to complaining?

As Christian men and women, we too, have been freed from the bondage of slavery to sin.  We too, have been led to this great land of promise here in North America by our Lord.  We too have been made a strong nation here in the United States.  And now many people are bitterly complaining about what they don't have and pointing to the good old days back when there was plenty.   

Ultimately, we become dissatisfied with what we have and we desire something more.  We place our focus on the things we want and we then become disgruntled about not having them.   Soon we are speaking forth the negative things deep within our heart instead of being thankful for what we have been given and praising God for His provisions.

We can look a few verses later in Numbers 11 and see Moses complaining as well, but his was different.  Moses was not complaining about not being in Egypt, he was simply overwhelmed by all the Israelites wanted.  

So Moses said to the LORD, Why have You afflicted Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all these people on me? I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. Numbers 11:11,14 (NKJV)

The difference was Moses brought his feelings to the Lord through prayer, rather than speaking negative things to those around Him.  

When the people complained to each other, nothing happened to change the situation.  When Moses spoke to God directly through prayer and petitioned for meat to eat, we see God responding.  

Hey Christian, I want to encourage you today to praise God for what He has given you.  If you find yourself overwhelmed, go to Him and ask for Him to lighten your burden.  God cares about each of us so much and will do what is best for us.  Let's not look to the past and complain about what we no longer have - let's look to our Lord and the future He is preparing for us and be thankful we have been forgiven.  

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional with regard to complaining to each other about what we don't have?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to speak positively to others by giving praise to God for everything He has done for you?

APPLICATION: Make a list of the things God has done for you.  Start with Salvation, forgiveness of sin, all provision, and health to name a few.

Father, Thank You for forgiving me from my sin.  Thank You for making Jesus a propitiation for my transgressions.  Thank You for all provision in my life.  And Thank You for my health and every physical ability I have.  Help me to continue to see these great gifts each day Lord and to give you all Praise and Glory.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000