Replacing our complaining with thankfulness
We can learn a lot about the state of someone’s heart by what comes out of their mouths. Someone who is fully reconciled to God and led by the Holy Spirit will be inclined to be thankful in all circumstances. Those who habitually complain, grumble or whine do so because they have treasured things in their hearts that the Bible calls “evil”. What are these things and how can we get rid of them?
Luke 6:45 NLT A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
The physical evils of complaining
Negative thought patterns affect our brains negatively.
Brain scans show that complaining causes the hippocampus, responsible for problem-solving and other cognitive functions, to shrink. Moreover, it releases higher levels of cortisol into our bloodstream. This is the “stress hormone” that can result in many health problems when it is over-active. For example, too much cortisol can lead to poorer immune systems, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and so on.
So, complaining can actually make us feel more overwhelmed. It affects our ability to think clearly and consequently, impedes our ability to recognise God’s voice or His blessings.
Interestingly, research has also shown that a thankful attitude can lower cortisol levels by over 20%. Is it any wonder why the Bible repeatedly calls us to be thankful? As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to be thankful for everything and in all circumstances, because this is God’s will for us. God cannot, and will not, reward us for complaining and contradicting His will. When we fail to be thankful, we quench the Holy Spirit, who gives us life.
Ephesians 5:20 ESV giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.
John 6:63 ESV It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all…
Types of complaining
There are different types of complaining.
1. Unmet emotional needs
The first type of complaining is based on ignorance.
Perhaps we genuinely feel fearful, trapped, betrayed, and lost, and don’t know how to process our unhappy feelings in healthy ways. When such feelings arise, we verbalise our grievances endlessly without knowing how to resolve what is really going on inside us.
In these circumstances, we need to remember the words of King David, who cried out to God and poured out his complaints to His Creator. David didn’t hold anything back. He let it all out to the only One who fully understood him and who knew how to comfort him. David did not go around grumbling under his breath or complaining to people, he went directly to God.
Psalm 142:1-2 NLT I cry out to the LORD; I plead for the LORD’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.
We too are to take our grievances to God and ask for His help and deliverance. Complaining may help us release some steam but there is a very real danger we end up spreading gossip, slander, bitterness, and judgments. Instead of being shining examples of God’s love, we are told in James 1:26 that our religion will become worthless when we are unable to control our tongues.
James 1:26 ESV If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
The truth is, no one becomes free of frustrations by grumbling. Only God, can take on all our anxieties and renew our hearts if we “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.” He will meet all our (emotional) needs and restore our souls as King David experienced (see Psalm 23). Also, see Please vent to God.
1 Peter 5:6-7 ESV Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Psalm 23:1-4 ESV The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Another type of complaining is related to self-elevation.
We complain when the things of this world don’t suit our personal agendas or meet our standards. We think, “I deserve better than this.” Hidden beneath such an attitude is a heart that lusts after the “desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life.”
1 John 2:15-16 ESV Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.
Instead of trusting God and thanking Him in all our circumstances, we indirectly accuse Him of not serving us well enough and not being good enough.
God always has a greater plan for good that can come out of our circumstances but it may mean learning to wait, endure, and mature in our faith. Every time we complain about our circumstances, we indirectly criticise and judge God because He is the One who set our appointed times in history.
Acts 17:24,26 NIV “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.
Instead of seeking God’s counsel and salvation, we elevate ourselves above His good and perfect will, and forfeit His love as a result. We make ourselves “enemies of God”. That is a strong description because that is how strongly God feels about this. The Bible equates grumblers and complainers with “ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
James 4:3-4 ESV You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Jude 1:15-16 NLT … He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want.
This, however, does not discount genuine pain and suffering. In fact, this type of complaining can sometimes stem from unmet emotional needs from childhood. We may not realise that the reason we feel this great compulsion to complain as adults is because our hearts have been embittered for a long time – since we were little. Perhaps we were not allowed to speak up for ourselves when we were little. Now we don’t have to mute ourselves, our bottled-up emotions and bitter grievances come up to the surface. Anything or anyone can trigger our disgruntlement, when the issue is really not so much about them but about the inner child inside who has been longing for affirmation and love for ages.
Job 7:11 ESV “Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
In these circumstances, we need to remember the words in Psalm 73; that even though our hearts have been embittered and we may have acted foolishly before God, our Almighty Creator is willing to overlook our offences and guide us to a “glorious destiny” together with Him if we are willing to repent and turn from our ways.
Psalm 73:21-26 NLT Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
We simply need to ask Him for forgiveness and forgive those who have embittered us in the past. This is how our hearts will begin to be renewed and changed from a place of bitterness to a place of thankfulness. We will slowly understand what it means to enjoy “great gain in godliness with contentment.”
1 Timothy 6:6-9 ESV Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
2 Corinthians 12:10 ESV For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
3. Worldly patterns
The third type of complaining is related to us mimicking the patterns of this world.
Romans 12:2 ESV Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
In some cultures, complaining is accepted as a social norm. We complain about the weather, politicians, service standards, and so forth. It seems everyone is entitled to an opinion, especially on social media. We grow accustomed to using our words to tear down, rather than build up. Kindness and self-control, which are part of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, are not valued. Instead, we may even be ridiculed when we don’t join in to complain and grumble.
Ephesians 4:29-32 ESV Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Galatians 5:22-26 ESV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
In these circumstances, we need to pay heed to the reminder in Philippians 2:14-15 to shine as lights in this world, rather than to follow worldly patterns. It may take discipline to restrain our lips but the benefit we gain will be a closer relationship with God.
Philippians 2:14-15 ESV Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
Proverbs 10:19 ESV When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
The idolatry behind complaining
The Bible explicitly says that we ought to “do everything without complaining.” Ultimately, any type of complaining will cause us to fall into idolatry, where we elevate our feelings, circumstances, and cultures above God’s command to be thankful in all circumstances.
Philippians 2:14-16 NLT 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.
Those who grumble may justify their complaints with statements such as, “I’m just pointing out the obvious,” “it is my right to express what I think, “I’m trying to help, if I don’t complain, nothing will change,” or “I will stop complaining when they finally get things right.”
As believers, we are indeed called to edify and build others up but there is a difference between edifying, correcting, and complaining.
Edifying is where we point out something that hinders another person in their relationship with God. We choose to “speak the truth in love” so that they grow in their relationship with God. We do not do this to bring attention to ourselves or to please ourselves, but to please God and give Him all the glory. It also leads to closer, more loving relationships with other people. Edification “bears with the failings of the weaker” in faith. It is loving and encouraging.
Romans 15:1-3 ESV We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself…
Ephesians 4:15 ESV Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Correcting is where we point out someone’s deliberate rebellion against God and sins against us, which may lead to disciplinary action or consequence if unheeded. It is important to protect God’s sheep from anyone who has no true love for God or for His people. Examples include divisive people, slanderers, false teachers, sexual predators, those who take advantage of people’s kindness etc. Those who are willing to accept such discipline will eventually bear good fruit. Correction is loving but may feel painful.
Titus 3:10-11 ESV As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
Matthew 18:15-17 ESV “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Hebrews 12:11 ESV For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Complaining, on the other hand, is where we point out something that hinders another person’s relationship with us. Our personal expectations become the benchmark for which people will be condemned if they fail to meet our standards – even if those standards are good and based on the Bible. Complaining is unloving and discouraging. And it certainly displeases God.
More importantly, let us keep in mind that there are many things God can complain about us, non-stop. We fail to meet His standards on a daily basis, if not hourly basis. Yet God holds back His wrath and proclaims that He is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” towards us. In gratitude, we ought to extend the grace that God has shown us towards others.
Exodus 34:6-7 ESV The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love to the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty…
What we reveal about our hearts by complaining
Complaining is often directed outwardly, but it also reveals a lot about what is going on inwardly in our hearts. Here are some examples.
|Ungodly passions||Subconscious desire|
|Attention-seeking||“Listen to me, I am significant. I want you to pay attention to what I say.”|
|Bitterness, entitlement||“I deserve better than this.”|
|Jealousy||“I want what they have.”|
|Lack of compassion||“I don’t care how you feel, I will not tolerate this.”|
|People pleasing||“I will grumble to fit in with the rest who are also complaining.”|
|Pride, indirect boasting||“I am superior compared to them / that.”|
|Manipulation||“I will keep complaining until you meet my demands.”|
|Revenge, passive aggression||“I will make you feel bad, because of how you have made feel me bad.”|
|Self-pity||“Life is so unfair to me. I deserve better than this.”|
|Self-preservation||“I need to protect myself by making you look at their faults, rather than mine.”|
If we look beyond our subconscious desires, we will see that what we all really want is for others to value, accept, and affirm us.
Yet this yearning for love and affirmation can be corrupted by our sinful nature and morph into ungodly passions, such as bitterness, jealousy, pride, and manipulation, as shown in the table above. It is such passions that the Bible calls evil.
Our desire for affirmation and recognition is natural, it is something God has placed in us so that we seek Him with all our heart. But if we want to be counted amongst those who belong to Jesus Christ, we will need to crucify all evil passions and stop being “conceited, provoking one another, and envying one another.”
Galatians 5:24-26 ESV And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Turning away from complaining
Thankfully, no bad habit is hardwired into us permanently.
God created our brain with the flexibility to reorganise and change in the way it responds to the world around us at any point of our lives, even in old age. This is what neuroscientists call neuroplasticity.
Changing our tendency to complain, however, needs to start from a place of humility, where we are willing to acknowledge that even though we may have reasons to complain, we too have sinned against God and against people too. We have even sinned against our own bodies by inducing increased levels of cortisol by our grumbling.
1. Choose to forgive
Complaining is often driven by some buried bitterness, where we still hold on to grudges against certain people, personalities, or circumstances. All complaints are coloured with a tint of malice or vindictiveness. This emotional undercurrent can be so subconscious that we may not even be aware that it exists. We have lived with it for so long that we no longer pay it much attention.
Ephesians 4:31 ESV Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
In such circumstances, we can ask the Holy Spirit to lead us to the unresolved hurts inside us that we need to confess and the people we need to forgive in Jesus’ name, so that we may be set free from our undercurrent of malice and learn to walk in His love, joy, and peace instead.
Colossians 3:13-15 ESV bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
2. Repent of judging God and listen to His counsel
There may be times we complain because we feel that God hasn’t heard our prayers or doesn’t care enough about us. Or, we may feel too ashamed, too fearful, too angry, or too distant from God to talk to Him directly. Because we don’t feel like we can go to our Father in heaven, we let off our frustrations and pain at other people or other things instead.
By doing so, we do ourselves a great disfavour. We may not realise that the views and deductions we have held could be completely misguided and wrong. Humanly speaking, we don’t have the ability to see things the same way God sees them or to understand His ways.
Isaiah 55:9 ESV For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Hence, instead of questioning, doubting or rejecting God’s will, we ought to repent of misjudging God and ask Him, “Holy Spirit, why do I feel unworthy / unheard / ashamed / afraid / angry / frustrated etc.? What is keeping me from experiencing the goodness of my Father in heaven? Have I lost sight of Your sovereignty over my life and this world? Is there anything I need to repent of, in Jesus’ name?”
Approaching God in this way takes humility because we need to be open to receive God’s correction and direction. If we are willing to do as God commands and consciously listen to God’s counsel, we will find the answers we are looking for. He will not turn us when we seek Him with all our hearts. In fact, God will talk to us as a friend and make known His ways and His plans the more we humble ourselves before Him.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 ESV For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
Isaiah 66:2 ESV All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
John 15:14-15 ESV You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
3. Repent of our self-idolatry and judgemental spirit
When we complain, we invariably include some judgement about someone else, but neglect to evaluate ourselves.
We all have a tendency to “think of ourselves more highly than we ought.” But if we want to have a legitimate right to complain about others, we need to first ensure that we are perfect in every way, able to meet everyone’s expectations at all times and under all conditions. Otherwise it will be a case of “pointing out the speck in someone’s eye” – when we have a log in our own. Jesus called this hypocrisy.
Romans 12:3 ESV For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
Matthew 7:1-6 ESV “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
God’s Word warns us clearly that whatever judgment we make about other people, we condemn ourselves too because we do the same things.
Romans 2:1 NIV You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
Perhaps we complain about other people’s lack of courtesy when we ourselves curse and condemn others under our breath. Or we complain that others don’t respect our boundaries, when we too cross the line in terms of our words and thoughts. We may complain that other people don’t fulfilfulfill our demands when we too ignore God’s commandments on daily basis.
Each time we feel the urge to complain about someone or something, it is probably wise to first ask ourselves, “How do I also fall short of the standards that I place on others?” We will quickly find that we are not that perfect either.
God the Father has given Jesus absolute authority to judge everyone. It would be a grave mistake to dishonour God’s decision by usurping Jesus’ role as the perfect Judge. Let us not hesitate to repent of judging others, playing God, and self-idolatry.
John 5:22-23 NLT In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.
4. Complain to God
So, what should we do when our hearts are aggrieved and we need some place to vent?
Bottling up our frustrations is not healthy either. It will simply accumulate and explode as rage periodically, like a dormant volcano that wakes up without warning, and hurt someone in the process.
Neither is shutting down our hearts and becoming indifferent to all our emotions healthy, because we will stifle the Holy Spirit’s voice in our hearts.
The good news is that we can take all our grievances to God and complain to Him.
In His grace and mercy, God will tolerate our complaints about the things and people He has placed in our lives. He will even tolerate our complaints about His will and His ways. What He will not tolerate is blasphemy of against the Holy Spirit, where we accuse the Spirit of being evil, despicable, wrong, or stupid. That is an eternal sin.
Matthew 12:31-32 NLT “So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven. Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.
Once we have poured out our complaints before God, we ought to then take a moment to also ask God to show us any “log in our eyes”.
Are we grieved over the injustices in this world? Perhaps we idolise comfort or earthly justice and neglect to see that God has a greater plan that will culminate in Jesus’ return. Are we grieved that someone we care about doesn’t seem to understand or listen to us? Perhaps we idolise our personal feelings and preferences. Are we grieved at being treated unfairly? Perhaps this is an opportunity that God has given us to “shine as lights in the world.”
Philippians 2:14-15 ESV Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
It would be helpful to note that in our complaining, we can also indirectly complain about God as well. When we complain about any family member of ours, for example, we are in essence, grumbling about God because He is the One who gave us our families. Instead of asking God how to love them well, we focus on their failings – and even join Satan in accusing them. Satan is called the accuser who “accuses them day and night before our God.”
Revelation 12:10 ESV And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
Whatever the case may be, it is always good to ask God if there are ways we have missed the mark and grieve Him too.
Psalm 139:23-24 ESV Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
5. Repent of our self-judgments and inner vows
It might sound counter-intuitive but we can complain about others because we actually judge ourselves too harshly. Alternatively, we may have a defence mechanism of perfectionism or a spiritual stronghold of fear and compulsive obsessive behaviour that we have yet to invite God to heal. Hence, we find it hard to tolerate it when others fall short of the standards we set for our lives.
Much of our complaining can also be related to our inner vows. If we have ever promised ourselves that we will always be polite / be careful / be punctual etc. we will take special notice when others don’t live according to the same standards as ours. We complain that “they are rude / careless / always late etc.”
Whichever the case, we will notice that certain things will trigger our complaints. There is a pattern to our reactions.
It is often easier to complain about others then deal with the sinful passions inside us, but if we are to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength, we need to invite the Holy Spirit to do a deeper work in us. This means we will need to be willing to repent of our self-judgements and inner vows. It may also mean we need to forgive ourselves for some things that we still judge ourselves for and forgive those who have hurt us in the past.
Mark 12:29-31 ESV Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Also, see Inner vows must be revoked.
6. Make a conscious effort to thank God
Last but not least, it is crucial for Christ-followers to develop the wisdom to test and practice self-control over our thinking patterns and words.
Just as the Holy Spirit can “deposit” His Words into our thoughts, so can Satan. The devil will tempt us with different ideas on how to complain because he knows a grumbling spirit grieves and opposes the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 4:30-32 ESV And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
All of Satan’s deposits are merely suggestions. Hence, we should not be too quick to “own” any thought that comes to our minds immediately, but pause for a split second and test if it pleases God or not. By doing so, we will find that we would have filtered out or even banned many of our ideas. We will find that our minds are much more restful and peaceful too.
The more we do this, the more our brains will also transform – literally. With conscious self-direction and practice, we will form new neural pathways in our brain tissue that will reinforce new thinking patterns. We will find that our urge to complain will grow weaker and weaker and the Spirit of love, joy, and peace become a more regular Companion.
Galatians 5:22-23 ESV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Every bad habit can be replaced with a good one. In this case, it is to make a deliberate choice to thank God – even when we don’t feel like it. The Christian faith is not built on our feelings, but on the Word of God and the Holy Spirit’s counsel. When we obey God this way, we will find that our attitudes, our feelings, and even our health will begin to change. In the future, it will also bring us “much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” May we all show our faith to be tested and genuine.
1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
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