“Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.” (Philippians 2:14-16)
There is a lot to complain about this year. All across the world there are famines, floods, earthquakes, wars, terrorism, and people displaced and wandering. In the United States there are economic downturns, company downsizing, rising unemployment, corrupt politicians, race riots, and arrogant bigotry on both sides of the aisle. Closer to home we find little to put our faith in, including family, friends, coworkers, our jobs, and even our churches.
Is it any wonder we grumble and complain when it seems the world is falling apart before our very eyes? Even Christians lose heart when confronted with a world so mired in despair and hatred. And yet, we are called to hope and thankfulness.
“And He[Jesus] said, “See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not go after them. When you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately.” Luke 21:8-9.
In Luke 21, Jesus describes the end times quite bleakly, and we know that we live in such times, but He also says this in verse 13: “It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony.” When these great calamities occur, Christians should be proclaiming faith, hope, and love, not grumbling and complaining with all the rest. Christians must stop adding to the despair and hatred. How, you may ask…it is all about attitude.
Remember James 1:2-4, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Wow, this verse is so easier said than done, right? Even those of us who have put our faith in Christ are still susceptible to the despair, depression, and even hatred that the world embraces, but we must resist such feelings. Yes the world is going to hell in a hand-basket, but we know that there is hope and salvation in Jesus Christ. Let the people around you know His joy and assurances, and remember that during this Thanksgiving, let’s try not to grumble and instead give thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us.
“The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.” (Numbers 6: 24-26)