March 6: “To Complain or To Be Grateful, That is the Question”

5 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

Exodus 17
Luke 20
Job 35
2 Corinthians 5

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

“He named the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites complained, and because they tested the Lord, saying, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’”
Exodus 17:7 (CSB)

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

We know what complaining is, don’t we? We really don’t like to listen to it, do we?

Yet, if we are honest, we may have to admit that we’ve done it before.

What exactly is complaining? Simply put, it is the disgruntled verbalization of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. We don’t like what’s going on, we feel powerless to do anything about it, so we simply bend someone’s ear.

As we read the book of Exodus, we can’t help but realize that the Israelites loved to complain. In fact, it is mentioned so often that complaining seems to have been their sin of choice.

The Lord wasn’t indifferent to their sin of complaining. We don’t like to hear others complain and neither does the Lord. It makes Him furious!

Numbers 11:1 (CSB): “Now the people began complaining openly before the Lord about hardship. When the Lord heard, his anger burned, and fire from the Lord blazed among them and consumed the outskirts of the camp.”

Why? Why does the Lord get so upset when He hears His people complaining?

Well, among many other reasons, He despises complaining because it is an act of faithlessness. When we complain, we are essentially expressing our doubt that the Lord is actually powerful and overseeing all things. Since we abhor the circumstances, we doubt the Lord’s ability and character.

That’s what our verse for today says…

Exodus 17:7 (CSB): “He named the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites complained, and because they tested the Lord, saying, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’”

Don’t complain, friend. When you do, you are saying more about your view of the Lord than you are about the circumstances.

Instead of complaining, find something in the undesirable circumstances to be thankful for. See God at work in your circumstances and thank Him for what He is doing or will do in you through the ordeal.

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 (CSB): “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, thank You for the day I am about to walk into. Thank You for whatever You have seen fit to allow into my day. Even though I may be tempted to complain about my circumstances, help me to acknowledge how wonderful You are by having an attitude of gratitude even in the valley. Amen.

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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