Friday, June 09, 2006

Replace The Spirit of Grumbling With the Spirit of Thanksgiving

Have you ever stepped outside your door on a beautiful clear sunny day, taken a deep breath of fresh air, and thanked God for His wonderful creation? But what if the next morning is grey and rainy? Does it automatically make you feel a little depressed as you look out of the window? Maybe you don't say it loud, but how do you feel? Are you in the habit of thanking God only for what you want? or are you in the habit of grumbling just a little when things does not go the way you like?

So what is wrong with a little complaining? What difference does it make? It does make all the difference in the world. Everything depends on how we respond to the little things in life. A marriage counselor will tell you that a marriage usually breaks up over little things. A small misunderstanding can start a war. Little things mean a lot, because this is the level where we live, down at the nitty-gritty of our atttude at breakfast table, or in the long checkout line at the supermarket.

GRUMBLING IS THE VERY OPPOSITE OF THANKSGIVING. A complaint is the opposite of trust; a murmur against your wife when she burns your toast is the opposite of a loving acceptance. The dictionary defines a complaint as an accusation. By complaining and grumbling you are actually accusing God of mismanaging the details of your life. The attitute of thanksgiving and praise releases the power of God into our lives, but the attitude of murmuring and complaining blocks that power.

For forty years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness and every time something went wrong, they complained bitterly and wanted to go back to the land of Eygpt. Why did it take them forty years to cover less than two hundred miles? Even with women and children and cattles, they could have covered the distance in a few weeks. They were delayed because they murmured and refuse to trust that God would keep His promise to take care of their every need. In 1 Corinthians 10:10-11, the apostle Paul was speaking about the behaviour of the Israelite in their wanderings from Eygpt to the Promised Land ... "And do not grumble, some of them did and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us ..." (Extract from Power In Praise by Merlin R. Carothers)

To be a worshipper, we need to begin DISCIPLINING our lives daily with the spirit of thanksgiving. This is easier said than done because most of us would agree that we are habitual grumblers. We grumble when we miss the bus to work and when we have to work late. We complain when the car would not start or when we hit a red light or are caught in a traffic jam. Even at meal time, we unconsciously complain about the food and the poor service provided by the restaurant. The list is endless ... but let us take heed that unless we overcome this deadly habit of grumbling, complaining and murmuring, it will rob us of the blessings and joy of the Lord.

"IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD" 1 Thessalonian 5:18. The simple application of this biblical truth covers EVERY situation or circumstance in our lives.
The benefits of a thankful heart are many ... by giving thanks:
1) We are in His divine will and itself will lead us out of the wilderness experience and into a victorious walk with the Lord
2) We have immediate access to enter into His gates (His presence) and in His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 100:4, 16:11)
3) The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

No wonder the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:4 commanded us to "Rejoice in the Lord always!" and in Colossians 3:17 that "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks ..."

GRUMBLING VS THANKSGIVING
Unbelief - Faith / Trust
Defeat - Victory
Anger - Joy
In The Wilderness - In His Will
Degradation - Transformation

Make a point today to "DISCIPLINE" your life to give thanks and count it all joy even in diverse circumstances (James 1:2) ... for ALL THINGS work together for good (Romans 8:28)

TPWC @ copyright

2 comments:

Pastor Lisa Shaw said...

Excellent post! By nature (the flesh) we complain or grumble when something is inconveniencing us in some way and that is why as Paul instructed the church, we must die to our flesh daily. We must override those negative, consuming emotions and mindsets by transforming ourselves to think as the WORD says and do as the WORD instructs. What a sweet fragrance to the LORD's nostrils if He heard us collectively and individually WORSHIPING AND PRAISING WITHOUT COMPLAINT OR GRUMBLING even on what some call a "bad day" and how we'd put the enemy on the run if we OBEYED THE WORD. God bless you.

The Praise & Worship Connection said...

Thank you Ps Lisa for your enlightening comment.

No matter what happen, the moment we choose to give thanks, we are immediately in His will (1 Thess 5:16-18) and that's what makes our prayer & supplication effective because the the Lord is near!

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 4-7