How do you handle problems when you encounter them? Do you get angry, frustrated, or depressed? Do you keep them to yourself or do you complain to your friends or family? Do you blame God for your problems? Why did God let this happen to me?
While God doesn’t cause all our problems, God does use our problems to build our character! So, if the small problems get you down, if you constantly complain about all your problems, then God probably needs to do some more character-building with you.
Actually, complaining about your problems is a complaint against God since your problems are His discipline at work in your life. Moses told the Israelites during their desert wanderings when they complained about their circumstances and desired to return to Egypt:“Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord” (Exodus 16:8, ESV).
That makes complaining a spiritual problem! Complaining is faithlessness! Complaining demonstrates a lack of faith or confidence that God is in control of all the circumstances of your life and of His ability to see you through difficulty and adversity. What’s more, complaining can become a bad habit!
God wants us to develop a lifestyle of dependence on Him to supply our needs in life, a lifestyle of hope vested in God’s provision. Hope is the fruit of faith while complaining is the fruit of unbelief. Complaining focuses on what is wrong with the present and glorifies a distorted view of the past while hope focuses on making the best of the present reality in anticipation of a glorious future.
The best way to rid yourself of a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. So, replace complaining about what’s wrong with today with hope for a better tomorrow! Give praise and thanksgiving to God to acknowledge His sovereignty over the circumstances of your life.
And, then you will replace complaining about your problems with proclaiming the glory of God. Then, your problems will build you up and make you into a better, stronger person in Christ.
Because, if small problems are irritants, then how in the world are you ever going to handle the big problems that accompany the big assignments God is planning for you?
I once saw a placard hanging in a person’s office that said, “No whining.” That’s basically the message conveyed by this verse.
So, Memo to Myself: No Whining!
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8, ESV)