Some people are never happy. They always grumble and complain even when their lot in life is objectively better than most on this spinning rock. There’s always something they are unhappy about, always someone that falls short of their expectations, always a perceived sleight, even if it’s just imagined.
Those they consider beneath them never bow and scrape low enough, and those above them never appreciate the alacrity with which they themselves bowed and scraped. If they live in a house, their nagging thought is that it should be a mansion, and if they live in a mansion, they’re consumed with why it’s not a palace.
What many fail to understand is that the grumbling and complaining aren’t the disease; they’re just the symptoms of the disease. The disease is ungodliness; the symptoms vary from person to person, but the cure is the same for everyone.
While hymns have fallen out of favor with many contemporary Christians, I still enjoy them. Call me a maverick, a rebel, or simply counterculture, but I enjoy simple songs written decades and, in some cases, centuries ago. Not so much the three-chord progressions or the tempo but the lyrics. Say what you will about the old hymns, but they just don’t write them like they used to. It’s hard to put out inspired lyrics when they have to go through fifteen approvals to ensure they don’t offend anyone and are milquetoast enough to get plaid on secular radio. That’s the tradeoff for smothering divine inspiration; you get to hear yourself crooning on the radio.
It’s hard to remain ungrateful and grumbling when you realize what Jesus did for you. When the reality of your predicament and the magnitude of His sacrifice take hold of your heart, how can you not sing with joy? Godliness is the cure, and godliness can only come about by repentance.
He paid a debt He did not owe; I owed a debt I could not pay; I needed someone to wash my sins away. Speaking of old hymns, next to Amazing Grace, that is one of my favorites.
Because the ungodly never experienced being washed by the blood of Christ, because they never knew what it was to walk through life without the burden of their sins crushing them into the dirt, everything to them is burdensome and cumbersome. There is no joy in their lives, but for the sake of appearances, they pretend that there is, until you wake up one morning and run across a headline about how some seemingly happy and well-adjusted starlet overdosed on sleeping pills or worse.
They should have been tiptoeing through the tulips for the rest of their days by any earthly metric. They had enough money to never work again, and they were beloved by millions of fans, yet they deemed their existence so dire and tragic that they could not bear to see another sunrise.
Ungodliness is fertile soil for grumbling and complaining, and with each iteration, your circumstances seem more dire still. For the most part, it’s an illusion, but if you repeat the same lie to yourself often enough, it will seem like the truth eventually. Like any weed or plant, the roots grow deeper, the grumbling louder, the complaining more persistent, and they will not stop until they are dealt with and pulled up by the root.
It’s easy to dive headfirst into the pool of despair where everything seems hopeless and lost if Christ is not the anchor of your soul, and He is not the foundation upon which you’ve built your existence. Even in the darkest seasons and the direst of circumstances, if you are in Christ and He is in you, there is hope, purpose, joy, and peace. It’s the reason the enemy is intent on keeping you from a genuine and abiding relationship with Him. He’ll do his utmost to distract you with positions and possessions, prosperity and clout as long as the desire of your heart is not Christ Jesus.
If you’ve ever wondered how people endured persecution, torture, and even martyrdom, and still do to this day, now you have your answer. The presence of Christ in your heart carries you through, buoys you, and keeps you afloat even when the undertow is strong enough to drag entire boats into the deep.
We can endure because our hope extends beyond the now, beyond this life and this plain of existence, into eternity in His presence. Knowing this, our focus should not be on dates, events, supplies, or anything of the sort unless God explicitly instructs you individually towards this end, but rather on His return and the promise thereof.
I’m well aware that it’s not easy. There is always something to distract us in today’s fast-paced world, always some new war or rumor of war, natural disaster, or manufactured pestilence to keep us spinning our wheels, but as children of God, we must possess the self-awareness to pull out of the nosedive and return to doing what He has tasked us with doing.
Is it wrong to know what’s going on or even what’s about to occur? Most assuredly, no, but it is detrimental to the spiritual man to dwell on it, obsess over it, and make it the core of your existence rather than a relationship with Christ. Don’t confuse the road signs for the destination. Don’t confuse events for The Event. Our duty and our journey end when He returns, not when such and such a thing takes place. It is well worth remembering because you’re about to hear a fresh chorus of ‘here is the Christ, or there,’ but do not go!
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
Posted on 24 August 2023 | 11:04 am
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