Say No to Complaining and Yes to Rejoicing!
Say No to Complaining
and Yes to Rejoicing!
By Rita Coon
Do all things without grumbling or disputing. Philippians 2:14
This verse has been running through my mind a great deal lately. When hunger strikes, when sickness or pain increase, when my son takes his hundredth spill of the day, how quickly my thoughts turn into complaints. It's practically second-nature. At times it happens without my even realizing it.
So, how do I do all things without grumbling or disputing?
In a recent sermon, Pastor David encouraged us to form the habit of reading the Bible. It's important to realize a key aspect of reading God's Word is in its meditation and application. While I may look into the Word daily, the transformation occurs in its application. As James 1:22 says, “Let us be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves.”
So, how do we apply this concept to not complaining? Well, we must recognize it as more than an empty platitude or an unrealistic goal to prove how weak we are. I believe we truly can form a habit of obeying God's Word (albeit imperfectly) as we read it and seek His guidance, remembering to always look to understand His instruction in its proper context.
Philippians 2:13 tells us “It is God who works in you, both to will and to work His good pleasure.”
God gives the will and the work!
We must pursue Him first and foremost. Without His strength, not complaining is just not possible. Complaining happens when we take our eyes off Him and focus on us, our problems, our wants.And consequently, we lose sight of His provision and plan for us.
It strikes me as ironic that even with water gushing from rocks and bread falling from heaven, the Israelites complained about wanting meat. To top it off, they had many flocks and herds of animals.
When we forget what God has done for us and focus on what we think He isn't doing for us, we do the same thing. We elevate our wants above thankfulness and trust in God's provision. In a sense, we become gods unto ourselves.
Continuing further, if you consider the verses after Philippians 2:14, note the rewarding, fulfilling purpose God has given us. It is far greater than any temporal suffering we may endure. It provides good reason not to complain.
That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word or life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me. (Philippians 2:15-18)
Reflecting on the blessing it is to shine for Christ, while strengthened by the call to hold fast to Scripture, newly inspires me to be glad and rejoice in every circumstance. For it is not enough to simply not complain, but oh, Rejoice in the Lord Always. I will say it again, rejoice. (Philippians 4:4) A grateful, rejoicing heart will be hard pressed to find the worst in everything. It will be too busy delighting in God to look.
My encouragement to anyone who reads this, myself included—rejoice in the Lord in all things, and don't waste time complaining!
The works of The Lord!
And All that He's done for you.
While you may not see
What His purpose may be,
You can know that He'll take care of you! (Rita Coon)
Rita Coon lives with her husband, Dave in Antioch, IL. They have been attending CrossView since 2013, and are actively involved with Awana, Missions Committee, Worship Team, and Nursery. Rita enjoys baking, writing, singing, and being mother to her precious son, Benaiah, and new baby girl, Sharina Ann.