And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and His anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp… and the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat!” -Numbers Chapter 11
Have you ever observed yourself or the world around you complaining? Of course you have! It is the very nature of mankind – of Adam – to complain! Whenever something doesn’t go our way – we tend to complain!
“This line is taking too long!”
“I don’t want to go to work, I’m so tired of always having to go to work!”
“I don’t get paid enough for what I do!”
“My husband never helps me, he’s always working or leaving!”
“Why does my life have to be so hard?!”
And the list just goes on and on!
But have you ever wondered why it is people always complain? What is the root of the problem? It seems no matter how things go – no matter what goal is reached – a person just can’t be completely satisfied and there’s always something to complain about!
We all know the story of the complaining Israelites from the Old Testament. Although the Lord led them and took care of them, the Israelites continued to complain throughout. Although it is easy to discuss about their complaints – their lack of faith in the Lord – we tend to dismiss our own complaints and grumblings. But do we realize that the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow?! Do we realize that when we complain – we are actually not complaining at the situation or against someone – but our complaint is actually against God?!
The Lord heareth your murmurings (complaints) which ye murmur against Him… your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord. -Exodus 16:8
Do we realize why the Israelites did not enter the Promised Land? Do we realize that the grumblers and complainers will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven?! Do we realize that the story of the Isrealites is given to us for instruction?
We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble (complain), as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. -1 Corinthians 10:9-11
Perhaps you think you can “solve” the problem by “trying” or “trying harder” not to complain. But although you may be able to contain the complaint within yourself and not speak it aloud – the fact that it is in your heart – doesn’t change things! The root of the problem, or the “heart” of the problem – actually lies in the heart! In fact, we see in Matthew chapter 15, that it is out of the heart that such things come.
Complaint goes back to being unsatisfied. A person was created to have God dwell in him and he cannot truly be content unless he fulfills this purpose. No matter what goal you achieve in this world, whether you obtain the career of your dreams, get married, have children, or obtain prosperity, all these passing things do not bring the True contentment! Perhaps you may experience contentment for a certain period of time. But in the end, that feeling of “something’s missing in my life” will continue until you fulfill your True purpose – you become God’s vessel, His child. And when this occurs – you obtain a new heart, one that is righteous and holy! A heart – that naturally – yields the fruit of the Spirit. A heart that is indeed content and grateful! In fact, your surroundings may not change – but how you experience them certainly will!
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. – Ezekiel 36:26
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. -Galations 5:22-24
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. -2 Corinthians 5:17