Wednesday, April 23, 2014

God Can Handle Complaints by Martin Wiles

God gives us permission to tell him exactly how we feel.

“God, I just don’t understand. We give our tithes and offerings, we attend church regularly, we use our gifts in your church, we share your love with others. We do all the good things a Christian should, but we never seem to get ahead.”

My wife has made some or all of these statements at one time or another. If I haven’t said them, I’ve at least thought them. Having taken on another part-time job, I hoped we’d finally get our heads above water. My wife did too. That was before she discovered she had inadvertently entered a bank deposit twice. Now there wasn’t enough to cover the rent check, and we were almost one hundred dollars in the red. So we complained to God. 

Sometimes I feel guilty about complaining to God, but I’ve discovered he can handle it. And when I have complaints, he’s the best and safest source to present them to. The psalmist thought so too. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles. (Psalm 142:2 NLT)

The psalmist—along with many other biblical characters, obviously had no qualms about complaining to God. So perhaps there’s nothing necessarily sinful about this bold act. And it isn’t. God can handle my complaints. When they arise out of genuineness, it evidences my desire for answers to my personal unpleasant situation or to circumstances that anger or confuse me. 

On the other hand, what I complain about can arise from sinful practices I need to address. The trial may be God’s way of getting my attention about something that needs my attention. Through trials, God refines—and sometimes realigns, me, but when I respond with an attitude of trust, he’ll give me a form of peace that’s impossible to understand or convey to others. It simply has to be experienced.

Is a situation or person aggravating and confusing you? Take your complaint to God. 

Prayer: Prompt us, merciful Lord, to bring our complaints to You where we’ll find wisdom to understand and strength to endure. 
Martin N Michelle
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