Welcome to June, the last month of the first half of this year. We are almost halfway through this year. I hope you are taking time to take stock of your journey and make needed course corrections as you go through the year.
This month, allow me to bring your attention to something crucial the Lord will have us deal with as we continue our journey of developing into God’s image. For those of us that are parents or have little ones around us, how many of you love your children whining when they want things from you? We say things like “use your words” or like in our home we ask the boys, “what happens when you whine? And they respond, “I don’t get my way” and that ends the tantrum episode. The Spirit of God reminded me on one of such days about this lesson I’m trying to teach our sons. He said to me that if I don’t enjoy listening to whining and complaining, why do I think he enjoys listening to it from His children? You are not asking me for anything but rather complaining about everything. He reminded me of the process He put in place for when His children need anything. Let us see what the process is:
Matthew 7:7-11 NLT
7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
There is nowhere in any of the scriptures above that we are asked to complain about the challenges we are going through or cry about them or even compare the happenings in our lives to the lives of other people. God’s desire is that we will trust Him enough to believe that He is truly our source and our provider. When we believe this beyond any reasonable doubt then we can do what the scripture says. God’s desire is for His children to know and believe that He’s got our backs. He already made us a promise never to leave us nor forsake us. We might have experienced disappointments from our earthly parents, guardians, or friends but God is not in the same class or category with any of these people. He will always make good on His promise. Did He say something to you? If He did, then be rest assured that He will fulfill every word He’s spoken to you.
One of the tactics the enemy uses is worry and anxiety. He makes us feel like having anxious thoughts about the challenges we are going through will help us with the solution. I’m yet to see anyone who was alert enough or in a clear state of mind to process things when they were anxious or worried. The antidote to worry is gratitude. The more you are thankful for the things that are working in your life and the lives of those around you, the clearer your mind gets to see a way out of your predicament. The most important lesson we will learn from having a grateful heart and magnifying God through it all instead of magnifying the problem, is that we begin to realise that God is so much bigger and cannot even be compared to the size of such challenges. We are able to gain the right perceptive to see things just as they are, and we develop the confidence that our Father God is bigger than any of those challenges.
Let’s examine Matthew 7:9-11 further:
9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
I want you to know this; God’s love for you is beyond what your mind can possibly comprehend on this side of eternity. That said, He is always looking out for your wellbeing. He takes pleasure and great delight in His children coming to Him for anything they need. His promise to us is that He will give good gifts to those who ask. So, are you asking and making your request known to God or are you complaining and grumbling about the things you lack?
What’s the difference between asking and complaining?
To ask is to direct your requests/questions to someone to receive an answer or more information while to grumble means to “complain about something in a bad-tempered way”. When we complain or grumble about our situation, we are not asking for help so we shouldn’t expect help. As God’s children, we must learn to use our words appropriately. The appropriate way to do that is to make our requests known to God through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.
Look at what happens when we complain.
Number 11:1, 10 NLT
1 Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said. Then the Lord’s anger blazed against them, and he sent a fire to rage among them, and he destroyed some of the people in the outskirts of the camp.
10 Moses heard all the families standing in the doorways of their tents whining, and the Lord became extremely angry. Moses was also very aggravated.
Our whining and complaining only causes us face challenges alone without the help of God. God is not obligated to step in when the atmosphere is filled with grumbling and complaining but rather God indwells the praises of His people. As you make a commitment to magnify the Lord above your situation, to pray about your circumstances and thank the Lord for past victories either in your life personally or the lives of others, you will see things turn out in your favour.
“Let the praises of God be in their mouths, and a sharp sword in their hands”
As we fill our mouths with praises, our hands are better equipped for battle!