“And you grumbled in your tents and said, ‘Because the Lord hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites and to destroy us.’” Deuteronomy 1:27
Time and time again, the Lord faithfully protected and provided for His people after bringing them out of Egypt. Still, the Israelites descended into grumbling the moment they heard there would be opposition in the promised land. It seems they were prepared to follow the Lord as long as He met their expectations.
Once they voiced discontent with God’s leaders and God’s path, the pendulum swung all the way to, “God must hate us!” Israel’s grumbling was outward evidence of an inward problem—ingratitude. Forgetting God’s past faithfulness took them off the path to victory in Canaan into 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.
How do you respond when God’s path doesn’t match your expectations? You may not think you would rebel against God but it doesn’t happen in an instant. It’s usually the result of wrong attitudes that fester over time. Left unchecked, discontentment quickly grows into ingratitude. And when an ungrateful spirit takes root in your heart God’s faithfulness becomes difficult to recognize.
The antidote for grumbling is intentional thanksgiving. We’re told in Ephesians 5:20 to be thankful to God the Father in every circumstance. Is it possible to be genuinely thankful for adversity? Well, Romans 8:37 promises that God can bring good from any situation, and that we will “overwhelmingly conquer” in Jesus Christ. That’s victory!
The Lord promises that we can live a victorious life in this world, despite the challenges we face. Don’t compromise that life with griping and complaining. Have discontentment and ingratitude worked their way into your heart and mind? Focus on God’s faithfulness. Voice your gratitude for how He’s worked in the past, then look for how He’s being faithful in your present situation. God is at work; for your good and for His glory.
Missed the first two devotions in this series? Be sure to read: Uncompromising Christianity and Do You Fully Trust the Bible?