Life is full of difficulties and situations and events that have the potential to turn our joy and faith into bitter waters. Instead of being filled with joy and faith we start to feel discouraged; instead of being happy we start complaining. This isn’t everyone’s problem but it happens pretty much everyday to anyone who lives on the planet earth. Somewhere throughout your day you will hear someone complaining; and it might even be you.
What is complaining? Complaining means that you or I are angry at the situation we find ourselves in; just like the Israelites who were in the desert after they had been released from 400 years of slavery – they said to the Lord:
“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” – Numbers 11:1.
The Lord doesn’t like our complaining; the Lord doesn’t like it when we resent or get angry about the situation we find ourselves in. But some of us do have situations that are painful – either physically or emotionally or in some other way. Some of us are facing terrible situations – yet – it is a sin to complain.
When the Israelites were told to attack the land the Lord was giving them, and to destroy all the inhabitants to take over the land, what happened? Twelve spies went out to scope out the land and ten of those that came back complained that the attack would be too difficult. They convinced the whole nation to disobey God and not attack the inhabitants and take the land.
“After exploring the land for forty days, the men returned to Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.”
But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!”
But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!” – Numbers chapter 13.
And so, the Israelites were acting like a bunch of resentful, faithless, complaining whiners. They refused to face their problems in faith and in the power of the Lord. They shrunk back from their duty, complained, resented the fact that God had brought them to a place where they were, and then disobeyed God by refusing to do what He had told them to do – take over the land.
If you’re in the trap of shrinking back from doing what God is prompting you to do; if you are afraid to take the land that God is giving you; if you lack the faith to believe that God will do what it is you think He will do; this is my word for you: stop pleasing the people around you by doing what they expect you to do and start following God and what it is He is putting in your heart to do. In other words, don’t be complacent and follow the crowd; be courageous and follow the Lord. Be strong in your faith; believe in God for a miracle; believe in God that He will do great things through your obedience to Him. Believe that God is the one in charge of your life and the results that occur in your life as you follow Him.
Look at that woman who had the issue of blood for 12 years. She spent all her money on doctors, she thought that they would help her. It was the conventional wisdom; this is what other people did – they went to doctors when they were sick.
“she could find no cure. Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.”
Then there was the non- Jewish woman who just would not give up believing that Jesus would heal her daughter “…she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!”
Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”
She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.”
“Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.”
I see myself as a dog, as a worm before the Lord. I don’t deserve to have the incredible blessing that God has poured out on my life; but He blessed me because He loves me and He blessed you because He loves you.
I know that we all go through many difficulties and we feel like we are dying inside; but let us not allow those feelings and what others say about our situation to cause our faith to dry up inside of us; let us believe in God for wonderful miracles because this is what He has promised each and every one of us. He was promised that His face will shine upon us; He was promised to be with us at all times; He has promised to lift us up out of the dirt that the woman who was sick and set her on her feet, healed and in her right mind. He was promised to heal the sick. He took the woman’s daughter and healed her because she believed in the healing power and compassion of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Don’t give up believing my dear brother and sister. Life will cause your ship to toss and turn and sometimes even get shipwrecked on the rocky shores of life through no fault of your own – it just happens. But look up! Look! There is Jesus walking on the water toward you; guiding you into the right direction. There is Jesus preparing a meal for you on the beach so that you can be warm and fed. There is Jesus with His arms open wide ready to heal you and to bless you.
“And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joyawaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin” – Hebrews chapter 12.
Live your life for God now; don’t give up; keep believing in God. Read your Bible and pray and meet with others believers. Take life by the wheel of say today I am going to serve my Lord and believe in His power to save and to help me. Amen.