How do we stop the complaining? The last blog left you with:
The Apostle Paul wrote: Do ALL things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world… (Philippians 2:14-15)
The Bible teaches us that we are to replace sinful habits with Godly habits. So you don’t just stop complaining, you replace it with thankfulness. How do I do that?
Answer: You need to absorb yourself in the Gospel. Not just have the Family Bible on the table. Not just a verse a day.Absorbed in the Gospel. Reading, memorizing, mediating, making it your focus throughout your day. Talking about it, teaching it, praying through it all. Absorbed in the Gospel.
The more you are absorbed in the Gospel, the more grateful you will naturally be, in any circumstance. What does that have to do with anything?
Let me explain. The time-tested standard on whether someone is an optimist or a pessimist is the 50% capacity drinking reservoir. You may know it as the cup that is half full. Or half empty.
Did you know God has a cup? The Bible is full of descriptions of the cup of God’s wrath. Here are a few examples:
Jeremiah 25:15 - Thus the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: "Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it…”
Habakkuk 2:16 - You will have your fill of shame instead of glory. Drink, yourself, and show your uncircumcision! The cup in the LORD's right hand will come around to you, and utter shame will come upon your glory!
Revelation 14:10 - (speaking of sinners who have rejected God) he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
The truth is what I deserve from God is a full cup… of His wrath. This cup would be mine if I was given what I deserve. So if God gave me an empty cup, that would be cause enough for infinite gratitude! But what if God gave me a cup with just one drop of blessing - I would be blown away by the unbelievable kindness of God. Not getting any wrath, but instead a drop of blessing!
Look at the verses that describe the cup that God has given to His people.
Psalm 116:12-13 - What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD...
Psalm 23:5 - You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
A cup of salvation? A cup of grace that overflows? What else is in this cup?
Ephesians 1:3 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…
In Christ, God has given, not a cup of wrath, not even an empty cup… but instead a cup of every spiritual blessing!
Any circumstance we are in is infinite improvement on the hell we deserve.
Wherever you find yourself, first be grateful for the wrath you are not receiving and will never receive because of Jesus Christ. Second, be grateful for the blessings you are given instead, look at them against the backdrop of wrath you deserve .
This 2 layered gratitude disposes my heart to give thanks in all things.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 - give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
The Gospel intensifies our gratitude, glorifies God, contributes to a peace of mind
Philippians 4:6-7 - do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
p.s. - Eternally grateful for the cup he was given.