The Word of God holds tangible answers. All of them… God’s Word gives us guidance and information, assistance and revelation for every situation, problem, emotion, and circumstance. God has placed His Word at our fingertips. He deposited the power of the Holy Spirit inside us. He hears and answers when we pray. God provides ALL the tools and ALL the knowledge we need to navigate every facet of life.
In His Word, God warns us against certain behaviors and encourages others. Although “because God says so” should be enough, He even explains why we should or shouldn’t engage in these behaviors and gives us alternatives. All ultimately for our benefit. Each one detailed in black and white, within His divine how-to guide.
Let’s look at a couple of behaviors the Word warns us about – worrying and whining.
Worry – What A Waste
Worry – defined as to torment oneself with disturbing thoughts, fret. I begin with worry as it has been apparent, abundant, and rampant in my area of the country for over a week. As the impending hurricane loomed offshore aimed at our state – worry, anxiety, fear, even sheer panic gripped so many. Gathering supplies and preparations brought out the worst in some people, all spawned by worry of the “what if”.
As the storm continues, even now, to reek havoc across the state – with persistent, what seemed like unending rain; flooding; prolonged power outages; concern for loved ones; and 24/7, day after day, news coverage of the storm and its effects – all enticing us to worry. To fear the future, the unknown. To question the purpose of the current situation and the goodness of our God.
Worry, anxiety, fear – all tools of the enemy. They rob our peace, steal our joy and consume our time and energy. They certainly take our focus off God and His goodness. And they are in direct contradiction to what the Word of God says.
The WORD and Worry
God’s Word repeatedly tells us to not worry, why we shouldn’t worry, and what to do instead of worrying:
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
“‘That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?’” Matthew 6:25-27 (NLT)
“‘So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.’” Matthew 6:34 (NLT)
“Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 (GNT)
God asks us to trust Him (Proverbs 3:5). To believe that He sees every problem, struggle and situation, every tear and frustration. To know regardless of what our current situation looks or feels life, God is working everything for our good and according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
God does urge us in His Word, instead of worrying, to pray about everything. Why should we pray, you may ask, when God knows all and is going to work it all out for our good anyway?
Prayer helps us to connect with God. It aligns our heart to His heart and our soul with the Holy Spirit. It reminds us we must depend on Him, and He is always with us. Prayer gives us an outlet to confess our concerns and make our requests known. Then we can leave the problems at God’s feet and rest assured that He’s working on our behalf.
Wha… Wha… Whining
Another joy stealer and time and energy waster the Word advises us against – whining and complaining.
We have all experienced them – an endless complainer, a negative Nelly, an Eeyore, a wimpy whiner – whatever you want to call them – no one wants to be around “that” person for very long. However, if we are honest, we all have probably been that person to some degree at least a time or two. I know I have.
We get in a “funk”, feel stuck, or things just don’t go the way we planned. We get pulled
down into the “woe is me” hole, and there we are whining about everything that’s wrong in the world and how life is unfair. Whining fosters discontentment and thus more whining. We end up repelling those who could and may want to help us. And attracting those who are more than happy to whine and complain right along with us – a grand old pity-party…
The WORD and Whining
Let’s look at a few examples of what God’s Word tells us about whining, why we shouldn’t complain, and what to do instead of whining and complaining:
“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” Philippians 2:14-15 (NLT)
“Be hospitable to one another without complaining.” 1 Peter 4:9 (HSBC)
“A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” Proverbs 17:22 (NLT)
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8 (HSBC)
Whining and complaining are counterproductive. Nothing positive comes from it, and it brings us no closer to a solution for our problems. A fruitless, pointless endeavor that can turn into a black hole of negativity.
No Whine… Only Thanks
We all have trials and struggles, and yes, we could probably justify them as legitimate reasons to complain. However, remember WE ALL have trials and struggles. And chances are someone else’s would gladly trade their struggles for ours, no matter what they are. The fact is – God allowed these problems in your life, in my life, for a reason, for His purpose. We get to choose how we respond to them. We can Find Strength in the Struggles. But whining is not the answer.
The antidote for whining – an attitude of gratitude. We have so much to be grateful for in this country. We are blessed beyond measure. If you woke up this morning, if you are reading this, if you have food and water – be thankful. If you are saved by the grace, that’s a reason to be grateful for all eternity.
We can always find something to be grateful for. If we look for them, we can discover many things, big and small, to be thankful for every day. And when you are grateful, it almost impossible to whine!!
To summarize… No worrying, whining or complaining. Instead, pray and give thanks. Sounds easy enough right? BUT we all know these are both WAY easier said than done. Our flesh wants what it wants and our minds wander to the what if and if only. Yet again, God has provided.
If we remember everything is God-filtered. If we stay focused on Him and His purpose. If we use God’s Word, His instruction manual. We can leave the worrying and the whining behind, drop them at the foot of the cross, and experience peace (John 14:27) and contentment (Philippians 4:11-12), no matter the storm or struggle.
We looked at two things the Word warns us against. Next week we will take a look at a couple of things God encourages us to do in His Word and the instructions He gives us to walk these out.
If you need helpful scriptures for dealing with a current struggle or circumstance, here again, are links to a couple of the many resources that can be found online:
Finding Help in the Bible from the American Bible Association
Open Bible Info provides a search function allowing you to find scriptures on any issue
If I can assist you in finding scripture for a situation or you need prayer for a current struggle or problem, please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions about accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please email me at email@example.com. I would be honored to answer them and pray with you.
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