15 February 2011

The Antidote for Complaining

Numbers 11:1-2 And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp. And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched.

Two very brief and very basic lessons from this passage of scripture:

1.  Complaining displeases God. 
2.  Prayer is the antidote for complaining.

We could all stand to do much less of the former and much more of the latter. 

Complaining really displeases God.  Makes Him angry.  And understandably so.  He gives us life, and breath, and all things (Acts 17:25).  He gives us all things richly to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).  Every day, He loads us down with benefits (Psalm 68:19).  The clothes we wear and the food we eat furnish continual proof of His love (Deuteronomy 10:18).  On top of that, we have been given all things pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3), and the list goes on and on. 

But we’re unhappy.  It’s not enough.  The temperature’s not exactly right.  The food isn’t really what I wanted.  I don’t think I’m being treated fairly. 

All that makes God sick.  And He really doesn’t seem to tolerate it.  1 Corinthians 10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

If you’ve got a case of the murmurs, the cure is found in the prayer closet.  Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Brother James has often said that the best thing to do when you’re depressed or discouraged or down in the dumps is to get alone somewhere with God and just start thanking Him for every single blessing you can think of. 

And long before you ever exhaust that list whatever problem or inconvenience or discomfort that had you all worked up just won’t seem like quite as big a deal.

The song has become cliché, but it’s words still ring true:

“Count Your Many Blessings”

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.


Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.