When You Think You’ve Got Every Reason to Complain

Our modern lives have become too complex.  Even with the advent of smartphones and recently invented gadgets that are intended to simplify our lives, stress levels are on the rise, the tolerance for substandard service and meager facilities are near zero levels and those voicing out their displeasure are doing so, very loud and clear both in social media and in personal interactions. The voices tend to be high-pitched, and the volumes on the high side. Our current culture has become so vocal about not being satisfied.  We air it out, We let off the steam.

In the context of families, and in our very own homes and schools, kids are commonly caught all face down with all their attention glued to their tablets. Yes that “techie thingy” called the tablet provide our children all the attention or distraction they need at the moment.  The kids just asked a question?….it’s not long before any member of the family would consult the “go-to-guy” nowadays, Mr. Google, (who else but the top search engine in the world).  And with this very handy distraction, we are able to occupy our kids so that they “do not bother” us for the time being while we need to get things done.

On the other hand, we, the adults, even when we  are already seated for meals are still holding on to, or at the very least are glancing at our cellphones.  For breakfast or any other meal for that matter, we simply push a few buttons, or go through a few steps and we have it.  We prefer things and options that are quick and easy. Thus, our tolerance for long processes and procedures have diminished greatly.

And if I were still in the workplace, I would remember myself to be one of those who often find ourselves congregating as “grievance groups” over coffee breaks or lunch outs.  This happens because the act of complaining has become some sort of a stress reliever. “Vent it out”…seems to be totally acceptable.  It can be about a gamut of so many things – the government, the neighbor, the adjacent cubicle, the neighbor’s pet, the in-laws, our painful backs, a dreadful injury, the prices of petroleum, the long queues, poor customer service, the volatile exchange rates, value-added taxes, the boss, the new hiree, and even the organization we are part of. So when something is not  to our liking, we complain, we even grumble and go to the extent of sharing our status of displeasure to our close friends.  But what does the Bible have to say about this overt behavior?

Phil 2:14 graphic by Divinethirst.com

Do everything without complaining and grumbling

Oh this passage from Philippians 2 just  strikes my heart head on!

Do Everything Without Grumbling

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life…

Yikes! That arrow was just shot right through the heart.  Here I am, claiming to be a follower of Christ, and at the first sign of hardship and inconvenience, I complain?

Whenever I complain or grumble for that matter, it reveals more of the condition of my heart and my attitude than it is about my situation.  It is almost like that I am implying the following lies:

  1.  Complainer’s MYTH #1   God is not in control of my situation and is not looking after me, this is why I am miserable.   This is definitely a lie, My God is Sovereign and He is letting me go through this phase in my life because He is preparing me for my next God-glorifying assignment.
  2. Complainer’s MYTH #2  God lost sight of me and is unaware of my miserable situation, that’s why I am going through this phase.  Our God is omniscient and He is perfectly aware of every detail in our life.  He even knows the exact number of hair strands on my head.  He also keeps count of every tear that I shed.
  3. Complainer’s MYTH#3  God expects me to lend Him a hand and exert effort to change all the circumstances surrounding me.  This is another lie.  God never needs my help or contribution.  He is Almighty. He is Omnipotent.  If He desires to change any of my circumstances, He can, even with just one word.  My role, is to abide in Him, in His Word, and listen for His instructions. And if I do get to help, or contribute to His purposes, in whatever capacity, I can that would truly be a divine privilege.
  4. Complainer’s MYTH#4  I am just human, and just like everyone else am entitled to complain and voice out whatever I want.  It should not affect anybody.  There goes another lie.  When you believed in Jesus, you were redeemed with a price and you are no longer your own.  You have been set apart.  Any “venting” or voicing out of complaints or grievances need to be done in the proper forum. Whenever you voice something out, you affect the attitudes and perspectives of someone else.  We are called to “edify one another”, so unless you are certain that falls in that category, please consider shutting your mouth first.  The best avenues for venting are usually those that are private and unknown.  I am talking about your personal time with the Lord.  Take it up with the Lord directly.  Be that son or daughter reporting your issues to Your Heavenly Father.  Consult Him about what to do, He will direct you on the specific steps you need to undertake.

And yes, you certainly can be emotional if you have to…

Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

 

So in short, seek the Lord daily.  We simply cannot afford not to. Spend time with Him in His Word.  Pour your heart out, get all those trashy details out like you are confiding with your best friend. Cry if you need to,… if that helps you to get it all out. Get the refreshment you need there at the foot of the Savior. Ask for the mega portion of grace that would get you through the day.  The Lord is more concerned about our holiness than He is about our happiness.

So what is your day like?  To me, its a long day that begins with preparation of packed lunches and energy-packed breakfasts, then probably loads of laundry and a bunch of “pack-aways” in various areas.  Then a series of mediating between kiddie fights, meal preparations and clean ups.  Oh, I am not complaining, I am just explaining what God is making me go through at the moment. This is my current calling for the time being. I choose to be joyful. And when I do my best in this current calling of mine, full of joy and gratitude, I am also in worship of the GOD who put me here in the first place.

Lord, thank you that You have given me everything I need. You are my Shepherd.  Change my heart, my perspective and my attitude,  I am grateful to be alive and for that eternal privilege of being called your daughter.

 

 

 

Posted in Expressions of Worship, Personal Walk with the Lord, Scriptural Reflections | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Reflecting About Endings……2016?

As the sun sets on 2016, we set our sights on what is to come….

As we approach the end of 2016, I cannot help but remember what my father taught us as kids…

that it is way better to attend a funeral than to attend a party…..?1?

…Then you imagine our facial expressions changing to that of the inevitable….

Huh? Why? What do you mean?

Lately, we had the unique opportunity to view an inspirational movie entitled, “The Secret Life of Jonathan Sperry” portrayed by veteran actor, Gavin McLeod. It delves on the same theme.

I guess, it is a topic we would rather evade than look straight in the eye. the answer as to why this important is pretty straight forward – It simply keeps everything in perspective. Our lives will indeed end at the appointed times that the Lord calls us home. When that is, and how it will occur, is unknown to us.

In social media, much attention has been given to the fact that several celebrities passed on this year, the most recent ones reported were George Michaels, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Personally, my friends from high school and brethren at Emmanuel Church have lost dear loved ones as well.

It is just the way it is, and Scripture has called our attention to this since time immemorial. Since we are facing a brand new year, we do ourselves a favor when we remember that we live, not to eat and be merry.

Our lives are but a vapor.

To illustrate it geometrically, our current lives are but a “dot” or a “point”. What follows, where we spend eternity is like the “ray” or that graphic that looks like an arrow. From that point, eternity moves forward. As believers in Christ, we spend that eternity with our Heavenly Father in heaven.

So is this concept morbid after all? No, I don’t think so. It is realistic. It is true. We have to prepare for it.

Let’s look at this passage….
Ecclesiastes 7 (NIV)

Wisdom
7 A good name is better than fine perfume,
and the day of death better than the day of birth.
2 It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone;
the living should take this to heart.
3 Frustration is better than laughter,
because a sad face is good for the heart.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
5 It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person
than to listen to the song of fools.
6 Like the crackling of thorns under the pot,
so is the laughter of fools.
This too is meaningless.
7 Extortion turns a wise person into a fool,
and a bribe corrupts the heart.
8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning,
and patience is better than pride.
9 Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit,
for anger resides in the lap of fools.
10 Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”
For it is not wise to ask such questions.

So with all that, I prefer to focus on verses 2 through 4 of Ecclessiates 7

It is BETTER to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
for DEATH is the DESTINY of EVERYONE;
the living should TAKE THIS TO HEART.

There is hope. He is a Person and He is Alive and real. His name is Jesus. He became a man, died for our sins, and rose again.

The significance of what He did is, instead of, you and me, being condemned eternally for our own sinfulness, his blood paid our penalties in full. If we believe in Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we become His very own.

What Jesus did was complete and effectual.  For purposes of going to heaven, there is absolutely no need to add any “extra good deeds or good behavior” to the equation. Whatever good thing we do are merely evidence that the new life in Christ has simply taken root.

In short – Do not end 2016 without Jesus in your life.

Face 2017 not just as a new year, but as a year reaping heavenly  eternal outcomes for your own life.

 

 

Posted in Exhortation, Glorious Hope, Scriptural Reflections | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Forever Grateful for 2016

It has literally been ages since this site has been updated.

I must say, ….”life indeed got in the way somehow..” So many things have happened, so many things have come and gone.

Our daily lives go on….much like the daily flow of traffic…but there is a Sovereign God who oversees everything

 

 

Yes, we are a bit older,  gained a few pounds and rolls of flab here and there, and we do have some extra wrinkles and facial lines where there wasn’t any before.  And yes, traffic in Metro Manila is still challenging.

But no matter what changes we go through,the Word of God remains the same.  How comforting is that?  In the midst of realities where loyalties shift, and economies rise and fall, God and His Word remains faithful and unchanging.

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

Did we ever realize the extent of how awesome this is?  Every move I make is known by my heavenly Father.  He is completely and utterly aware of what is going on, not just with what’s around me but that of every thought I make, whether they are positive or not.  I can never be hidden from God’s sight.  He is completely aware of my every joy, pain, heartache and victory.

Whatever 2016 will remind me of, I will always tell myself that God remains Sovereign in all things.  I may not completely understand why, but since His Word tells me He is, I choose to believe His hand is in everything that I am experiencing.

Thank you Lord, because Your love endures forever! You are faithful! You are Sovereign! My life is in Your hands!

For 2017, I will endeavor to walk with Him and share the precious thoughts of His love.

 

Posted in Exhortation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Seven Prayers You Cannot Miss Praying in Your Lifetime

Here are seven (7) prayers you can’t miss praying in your lifetime.

First prayer

Prayers acknowledging sinfulness and admitting utter helplessness  (Romans 3:12 & 7:18/Matthew 5:3, nlt)

Continue reading

Posted in Prayer | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Seven Prayers You Cannot Miss Praying in Your Lifetime