Summary: We must be mindful about our complaining.
The Complaint Department
November 2, 2014 Evening Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: We must be mindful about our complaining.
Focus Passage: James 5:7-11
Supplemental Passage: And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp. (Numbers 11:1 KJV)
Introduction: I received a phone call this week asking if there would be a complaint department in Heaven. I was about to go into a lengthy deep theological reasoning as to why there would not be one when the caller said, “well, I was just wondering. I’ve seen so many people around here complaining that if they actually make it to Heaven, it seems they wouldn’t be happy there unless there was a way for them to complain.” OUCH. We all complain. Everyone one of us are guilty of it as some point. Some people know how to complain; others just gain the meaning of their existence by complaining. But, complaining isn’t always the answer. When you complain, in essence, you are saying that God isn’t doing a good enough job being God. We must really be mindful of our complaints and how we complain.
A heavy wagon was being dragged along a country lane by a team of oxen. The axles groaned and creaked terribly, when the oxen turning around thus addressed the wheels, "Hey there, why do you make so much noise? We bear all the labor, and we -- not you -- ought to cry out!" Those complain first in our churches who have the least to do. The gift of grumbling is largely dispensed among those who have no other talents, or who keep what they have wrapped up in a napkin. Charles Spurgeon in The Quotable Spurgeon.
I. A Time to Complain
a. saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. “There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ “For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” (Luke 18:2-5 NASB)
i. And a WAY to complain: “It’s cold in here” vs “What are you trying to do, give us all pneumonia?” Or “I’m hungry” vs “Are you trying to starve me to death?”
II. A Time to Endure
a. And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He did not answer. Then Pilate *said to Him, "Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?" And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so the governor was quite amazed. (Matthew 27:12-14 NASB)
b. The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; (Acts 16:22-25 NASB)
III. A Time to Pray
a. Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him. O people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. (Isaiah 30:18-19 NASB)
b. As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. (Psalms 55:16-17 KJV)
Application/Invitation: Confess and repent of your chronic complaining. It doesn’t please the Lord and it does not glorify the Lord. Instead, adopt an attitude of humility. Use your complaints wisely. If you overuse the need to complain about something, no one will listen. See what the Lord is wanting to teach you through your adversity. Be grateful for what He has done for you! Learn to complain the right way instead of in an accusatory manner.