January 16, 2013

no cause to complain

on sunday our pastor shared a very rich message about grumbling & complaining from philippians 2:14-18...

"do all things without grumbling or disputing, 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, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me."

he shared this quote from charles spurgeon. 
"as long as a man is alive & out of hell, he cannot have any cause to complain."

i recently went through one of the most sanctifying seasons of my life. i was so quick to despair & become angry with my boys. i was comparing my life to all the instagrammers & bloggers i followed. i felt like i was sinking. i felt like i was losing hope. i was so consumed by my sin & fallen state.

but my Father sustained me by His great grace & so graciously has sanctified me to be more than i was before those hard months began. i realized again, as i had realized before in reading this book, as our pastor was speaking. that we must stay in a state of thankfulness & gratitude to our Savior. regardless of our circumstances... if our reference point is hell & what we should deserve... then we have no cause to complain! we are doing "better than we deserve". we have every reason to be glad & rejoicing for the rest of our lives! if our lips are always speaking humble expressions of gratitude & we are so aware of where we should be spending eternity apart from Christ, then our grumbling hearts will be humbled. for when we grumble we are considering ourselves wiser than He. we may be complaining about a season of life & how ridiculously hard it is, or about loss, or the lack of things or people in our lives, we may be complaining about someone else's attitude or even just the weather. & when we do all that... when we aren't instead grateful... we are proclaiming that we know better. we are saying that He isn't handling things well. that He didn't make this world & people well & in His image. we are saying that His sovereignty isn't sufficient.

oh gracious Father, may my vision & perspective always be viewed in light of eternity. may i always rejoice in what you've saved me from. that i have been washed cleaned & now stand guiltless before a great & glorious God. who had every reason to remove me from His presence to pay for eternity for my sin against Him. but instead He came as human flesh & bore the awful sin on Himself on the cross that i might have life. & because of the life i now have... may my lips always rejoice!!! & guard my tongue from complaining & gossip & bitterness & whining & words that tear down.

by Your grace give me words of life & give me eyes to see the life i now live & rejoice in You always.
& when i lose sight... turn my eyes quickly again to You!


Lauren said...

Thank you for sharing. I so needed to hear this today.

sarah {on the brightside...} said...

Oh, such beautiful words! If we have Christ than we always have reason to be full of joy & gratitude!

Jocelyn lum said...

"as long as a man is alive & out of hell, he cannot have any cause to complain."

Thank you for the quote.

Whoa, you compare yourself with others. I was in your shoe too, most of the time. Now that this quote wakes me up:)

Last week, I came across a quote:"Always start your day with great smile and energy. To be thankful that you are alive."


justicepirate.com said...

When I went to a private school most of my life, in 8th grade they made verses 14-16 our classes' verse. . . and I have adored it so much since that I made my photography business "Shine Like Stars" after it. I quote the verse many times to my whining children. haha. They're going to have it memorized in no time.
I love it.
What you wrote about how God has helped you through and how that passage inspires and helps you is really amazing!!! I'm so thankful to our wonderful Saviour!

Emily Gilbert said...

Just so you know, the last two posts you have published were well needed and spoke to my heart. <3

Also, what a beautiful family you have.

allison barker said...

thank u friends for your kind words!

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