Numbers 14:11, "The Lord said to Moses, "How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?"
Imagine being on a long road trip in the summer with no air-conditioning. And to make matters worse, you're stuck in the car listening to petulant children constantly complaining. That abysmal situation is only a tiny fraction of the continuous friction between the Israelites and Moses. When everything was going well, they were generally obedient. But whenever life got a little uncomfortable, they would complain about wanting to return Egypt, to slavery! How could the Israelites so quickly doubt God after all He had done? They were caught in a cycle of "rinse and repeat." They'd worship God for a period, then grow discontent and disobey. God would discipline them and then they would turn back to God. But let's not be too quick to judge the Israelites! Before passing judgment on others, we must first examine ourselves. In today's culture, people complain about even the slightest inconvenience or discomfort. We're all guilty at times. Think about it, we leave church on Sundays refreshed and feeling great. A few days go by, and life happens: traffic, deadlines, carpool lanes, appointments, or disappointments. We grow discontent and step into the moan zone. Our focus shifts away from God. What happened to our Sunday afternoon attitude of gratitude for all that God has provided? This unbelief and distrust in God's sovereignty and power is a serious sin. Yet if we know God personally, we can guarantee we're in for a big dose of reality, because He "opposes the proud." Therefore, we will be humbled! Are you currently caught in a cycle of "rinse and repeat"? If you are, there's one cure – an attitude of gratitude. When we're thankful for what we have, we forget about what we lack. So the moment you start to complain, remember that your worst day is nothing compared to the day Jesus hung on the cross. Remember what He has done for you, and be thankful for all He has given you.
Read what Paul wrote about contentment in Philippians 4:8-13. And the next time negativity sets in, look to the cross and give thanks.
Father God, thank You, thank You, thank You! Never have You failed me, never have You been untrue. Help me to honor you, and the next time I start to complain, nudge my heart to remember what Jesus did for me on the cross. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.