I’ve been going to church all my life but I’ve never heard a sermon on grumbling before. Then, in the space of a week, I had the joy of hearing Simon’s talk ‘grumble in the jungle’ twice.
Even as we began reading James chapter 5 I knew that God wanted to speak into a particular situation in my life.
To honour my friends I won’t give all the details, but essentially a couple of my close friends and I had unconsciously become really resentful about a situation we were all going through together. We passed off our negativity as “needing to vent” and played down our moaning as “getting things off our chests”.
But in reality we were just grumbling away and becoming more and more bitter in the process. Instead of taking our hurts to God or praying about them together, we let the negativity fester and grow among us by rehearsing over the same complaints again and again.
So, as you can imagine, I felt massively convicted by the Spirit during the talk; but I also felt inspired to live out God’s call for us to a people free from grumbling.
As soon as I left church I shared my sermon notes with this particular group of friends and rang them to say sorry for my part in letting grumbling steal our joy. We resolved to repent, to choose to see the people and circumstances involved in our situation through God’s eyes, and to nip little niggles of bitterness in the bud, before they have a chance to grow into something more damaging.
This word from the Lord could not have been more timely and it has brought a great sense of reconciliation and transformation to our situation.
I am so grateful that God gently reveals to us areas in which we are not living according to His ways and that through these challenges He leads us into greater freedom and joy.