One of the effects of my speaking nine times to pastors in Alaska recently was conviction for my sin of grumbling. What happened was this. I spoke on the things that I love most. I spoke about the great and glorious God of Christian Hedonism—
- The God who “works for those who wait for him” (Isaiah 64:4);
- The God who “withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11);
- The God who “pursues us with goodness and mercy all our days” (Psalm 23:6)
- The God who “works all things together for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28);
- The God who “did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, and so will surely give us all things with him” (Romans 8:32);
- The God “through whom we can do all things” (Philippians 4:13);
- The God “who supplies all our needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19);
- The God who “will help us, and strengthen us and hold us up by the right hand of his righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10);
- The God who “will never leave us or forsake us, so that we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid; what can man do to me’” (Hebrews 13:5-6);
- The God who “will complete in me the work he began” (Philippians 1:6);
- The God “in whose presence is fullness of joy and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11);
- The God who “has all authority in heaven and on earth . . . and who will be with us to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20);
- The God who “disciplines us for our good that we may share his holiness” (Hebrews 12:10);
- The God whose “eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth seeking to show himself mighty on behalf of those whose heart is whole toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9);
- The God who “knows the hairs of our head and without whom not a bird falls to the ground” (Matthew 10:29-30);
- The God who “rejoices to do us good . . . with all his heart and with all his soul” (Jeremiah 32:41);
- The God who “rejoices over us with gladness and exults over us with loud singing: (Zephaniah 3:17).
When I heard these things coming out of my mouth, I was deeply convicted that my heart had grumbled in these recent months. Paul said, “Do all things without grumbling.” Grumbling is an evidence of little faith in the gracious providence of God in all the affairs of our lives. And little faith is a dishonor to him. It belittles his sovereignty and wisdom and goodness.
Do I believe these things? If my faith is strong, I will not grumble. Pray for me, that I would be glad in the Lord and receive willingly from his hand all he designs for my holiness. Then, as Paul says in the next verse, I can be “a light in the world.” Grumbling only adds to the darkness because it obscures the light of God’s gracious, all-controlling providence.
Thanks for your wrestling with me in prayer,