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Doing all things without complaining or arguing may only seem possible if no one ever disappointed us, frustrated us, or challenged us. However we know we will never experience life like that on this side of heaven. So then how is obedience to this command realistic or even possible?
When my mind is stayed on the Lord I experience perfect peace. (Isaiah 26:3) My mind is then filled with the knowledge and remembrance of God’s goodness and faithfulness in my life. So then when things come along that would disappoint, frustrate or challenge me as long as I am keeping my mind stayed on the Lord I can’t help but be at peace—believing that some how, some way God will work my circumstances to good just as He has been faithful to do in my life all along.
It is when I let the business of my day fill my mind with things that need to be done, instead of the goodness and faithfulness of God, that I begin to worry, complain, and argue about the inconveniences and interruptions that pop up during my day. Blinded by my discouraging circumstances, like a horse with blinders around its eyes, all I’m focused on is my frustrating situation, and as a result, I forget all the ways the Lord has delivered me from past.
Complaining is defined as “an audible expression of an unwarranted dissatisfaction”1 Everything I complain and argue about is totally unwarranted. God takes amazing care of me. “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1) For me then to complain or argue, declares that I deserve better than my current circumstances—not at all the attitude I should have as one who has been given so many precious promises from the Word, that I can count on in troubling times.
There is a man at my church who has become known for answering the question “How are you doing today” with “Better than I deserve.” I love that. He doesn’t take any of the blessings in his life for granted. With this attitude, it would be impossible to complain or argue about anything.
C.H. Spurgeon explains, “If we complained less, and praised more, we should be happier, and God would be more glorified. Let us daily praise God for common mercies—common as we frequently call them, and yet so priceless, that when deprived of them we are ready to perish. Let us bless God for the eyes with which we behold the sun, for the health and strength to walk abroad, for the bread we eat, for the raiment we wear. Let us praise him that we are not cast out among the hopeless, or confined amongst the guilty; let us thank him for liberty, for friends, for family associations and comforts; let us praise him, in fact, for everything which we receive from his bounteous hand, for we deserve little, and yet are most plenteously endowed.” 2
What things in your life are bothering you today? Just for this week aim to find the blessing in every trial. For instance, if our kids track in dirt and leaves on our freshly cleaned floor we can praise God that they have the ability to walk in the first place and aren’t confined to a wheelchair to get around. Though my girl has come down with a cold, I rejoice and thank God that this is the only health affliction she is dealing with, when so many kids around the world are dealing with far worse, and that this cold will soon be a distant memory.
When we put our trials in perspective, looking for the hidden blessings in our difficulties, our trials will feel like less of a trial, our joy will increase, and before we know it, counting our daily blessings will come so natural that we will find a reason to thank God in every trial.
Question for you: What are you thankful for today despite the hardships in your life?
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Copyright © 2012 Brooke Espinoza.