"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I Won't Complain!

Troubles......Troubles....Troubles. I don't know a single honest person who can say that they have absolutely, positively no troubles in their life. Think about it for just a moment, what kinds of troubles have you had in your life? And, if you answer none, just keep living, I can assure you they will come; and they will probably arrive in packs. Trouble seldom travels alone. Usually when one shows up, there are several wagging behind, just hustling to catch up.

Here you are, a worshiper of Christ, and it seems as if you have a trouble magnet implanted in your body because everywhere you go, trouble seems to be present. Upon baptism, many Christians had the misconception that once I accept Christ into my life, everything would be glorious. I will enjoy living, and I will love everyone. But, let's be honest here, there are days that we, Christians, don't want to get out of bed because of the trouble that awaits us, and may despise our neighbors, and even sometimes our own family members, because of the trouble that they may have caused us in our lives. There are some things in life that we just can't seem to swallow and keep moving. And so, we pray about it; or do we?

When problems bother us, we go to God and ask for instant removal. We ask that He will make everything alright. We admit to God what we can and cannot take and deal with. I've been asking God to show me who I really am, and He has shown me that I am a complainer! Wow, what news! God blesses me with something, and I complain because it may be what I asked for, but did not come in the form of what I expected it to be in, and then I began to ask for more.

Have you ever looked at your troubles and compared them to someone else's? My son has food allergies, and I find myself complaining about it all the time. I feel like this is trouble in my life, something else that I feel is unfair that I have to deal with. However, when I think about all of the children that are in St. Jude's Children's Hospital with terminal illnesses, I can praise God that ALL I have to deal with is food allergies. What a change in attitude! I am working on changing how I view the situations and circumstances in my life that LOOK LIKE trouble to me. God is revealing to me that it is MY ATTITUDE that determines the outcome of a situation or circumstance, even when it is something or someone that has stepped on my feelings and crushed my heart. What I pray to Christ will help me to change my outlook on situations.

When we thank God for what we have, and how far we have come, He will bless us with more, and move us farther.

Psalm 34:19 reads, Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. (KJV)

I don't know why I thought that my life should be so easy, when God's only son, Jesus walked this very earth and dealt with troubles daily. Who am I to think that I should have no trouble in my life? Jesus had a mission to carry out for His Father, people who wouldn't accept Him, people who acted as if they loved Him, places that He was not wanted, those that talked about and scandalized His name, disciples to lead, messages to send, proverbs to teach, miracles to perform, and a mass of people who wanted Him dead because of this. Wow, talk about a stressed, troublesome life. And, He lived it just for all of us! This puts my complaints in perspective. Should I really have a complainer's heart? (I found complaining buried deep in my spiritual closet. I had to do some digging to find it.)

Complaining is negative. The devil rejoices when we complain. Please don't misinterpret what I am saying, there are some things that we must go to God about because we really can't handle them and we may have suffered through all we can tolerate. There are other small things, that we really need to be grateful for, yet we complain about it.

Now, when I look at trouble with my spiritual eyes, I want to rejoice. I want to thank God for making me stronger, wiser, and more like Christ. But, most importantly of all, troubles bring us closer to Christ. We lean and depend on Christ more when we are in a storm. We talk to Him constantly when things just aren't going our way. We spend more time in His word and in His presence. We are not able to see the big picture of what God is preparing us for. Sometimes we must go though troubled times. In the midst of our problems, we feel like we can't make it, but with God all things are possible. We do, however, need to look at the issues, situations, and circumstances with our spiritual eyes, and search for God's purpose in them.

One ever so popular gospel song states: "So, when I look around, and I think things over; all of my good days, outweigh my bad days, and I won't complain!"

Father, I ask that you help me to release this complainer's heart. God, help me to learn to thank you for my troubles and praise you in the midst of my storms. When I look at the things in my life that are breaking me down, I know that You are preparing to build me up again. Lord, I love you for treating me like your child and teaching me along this journey. Continue to give me knowledge and wisdom so that I may know the purpose of the storms in my life. I realize God, that without rain, I would never experience a rainbow. I give you glory for the small things in my life that may seem like troubles to me. Help me to glorify you no matter what I may go though. I realize that I am on display for your people to see. Please continue to lead and guide me all the days of my life. I love you Lord, today!

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