When it’s 100 degrees outside and over 90 degrees inside and you’ve had to stay in the house most of the day in that humidity and the repairmen still haven’t come to fix your A/C, it’s easy to get a little cranky and begin to grumble.
Tuesday that was my day, and at times I would begin to complain about it, because I thought I had plenty of reasons to–there was almost no breeze coming through the windows, the only fan in the house is in the bedroom and I wanted to get things done elsewhere, if I cooked anything the oven was going to heat up the whole house even more, the chocolate chips in the pantry are now melted, etc.–but then I started feeling like a stinkin’ Israelite with all these blessings surrounding me and yet STILL I had the nerve to complain about one little bitty thing that wasn’t 100% how I would like it to be.
Having to be in the house all day at 90+ degrees is NOT a terrible struggle, but it did get me to thinking.
There are so many verses in the Bible about NOT complaining but giving thanks instead. If there is complaining, there is no thanksgiving being made. If there is thanksgiving, there is no room for complaining.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
In everything? I mean, that’s a lot! Shouldn’t I get a break every now and again, and complain a little at those times?
Ummm. That’s not what I’ve been reading. God expects us to be thankful in all circumstances, no matter what, really. Life is sometimes very hard, and for some it is extremely hard. But I’ve noticed that the ones with the hardest times and biggest difficulties, when they put their faith in God, they are the strongest people I know, and I don’t ever see them complaining. They are thankful for the good moments God gives them. They are grateful for every little grace He grants them.
You may have watched the videos going around lately about the guy who got to tell his wife that she was pregnant, and then the next video where they announced they had unfortunately lost the baby soon after. The latter, Our Baby Had a Heartbeat, is so sad yet so touching. They are grieving, but they have faith in God and are thankful for the short time they had their little unborn baby. Sam, the husband, said, “We’re so hurt but we’re so thankful that God used us like this.” I cannot imagine how they must feel right now, but I know that to have that attitude must take a lot of faith. They said they are now closer as a family. They are undoubtedly closer to God now. And with all this lately about Planned Parenthood selling aborted babies’ body parts and not even caring that those are little humans, this video and this baby were, I think, a good eye-opener to many about the realness of an unborn baby and the fact that he or she IS alive before birth, and IS a human being.
So, being thankful doesn’t mean you have a perfect life and therefore you’re so happy about it you tell God “thank You” all the time. No, it means being humble enough to say “Thank You, Lord” in the hardest of times, even when it hurts, because you know He never leaves and no matter how rough life gets He will always love you and care for you. Being grateful for His grace and love and salvation is what it’s all about.
Thankfulness makes the troubled times seem much more bearable and not so bad, and it makes the good times even better.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father“ (Col. 3:15-17).
Paul was thankful and still gave all glory to God through his tough times. God’s grace was all he needed, and in this he had joy. Eucharisteo. “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:9-10).
So, no matter our current situation, we ought to be thankful. There is just so much around us to be grateful for instead of grumbling and complaining about the small things.
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name” (Psa. 100:4)!
(I’m 110% against me complaining, so if you ever catch me doing it, I encourage you to bop me on top of the head–gently–to knock my brain back into place.)
Have a blessed day!