When It's Easier to Complain
Is there anything in your life you can be thankful for?
I started a new diet a little while back. It’s not exactly a diet. It’s more a lifestyle change. But it means I don’t eat bread anymore. Or fruit. Or ice cream. Or anything that’s actually joyful.
Yes, I’ve gone most of December with no carbs.
Yes, it was miserable. Thanks for asking.
But, sitting down to a lunch of greens, chicken, and avocado the other day, the Lord really convicted me about my attitude. Instead of complaining about what I couldn’t eat, I need to be thankful for what I had. So I did a bit of repenting over my spinach.
Why is it so much easier to complain? Is it possible to be drowning in difficult circumstances and still live with hope?
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
Don’t you love verses that start with “even though”?
Yesterday we talked about peace. Today we’re talking about joy. And the fact is, my friends, they are both choices.
You can find peace, joy, and hope in your circumstances. Of course, you can. But they will only last as long as your circumstances stay the same. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but nobody’s circumstances stay the same. Every life has ups and downs, and if your hope is in your circumstances, it will waver.
Joy is something you choose in spite of your circumstances.
Can you choose joy when you have you eat canned food for a month? Can you choose joy when you have to ask for help in paying your bills? Can you choose joy when your car won’t start or you tires won’t hold air or your shoes have holes in them?
Yes. You can.
But will you?
And, yes, I’m taking Christmas off from my carbless lifestyle. Because pie.
Questions for Reflection
Have you ever taken a moment to thank God for the difficulties you face in life? Do you think you should or not?
Can you think of anything positive about your current circumstances? Is there anything in your life you can thank God for?
The next time you are tempted to complain, make a list of ten things you’re thankful for.
Weekly Memory Verse