Wednesday, July 9, 2014
July 9 – Complaining with God
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram! I am your shield and the one who will reward you in great abundance.” But Abram said, “O sovereign Lord, what will you give me since I continue to be childless, and my heir is Eliezer of Damascus?” Abram added, “Since you have not given me a descendant, then look, one born in my house will be my heir!” But look, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but instead a son who comes from your own body will be your heir.” The Lord took him outside and said, “Gaze into the sky and count the stars - if you are able to count them!” Then he said to him, “So will your descendants be.” Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord considered his response of faith as proof of genuine loyalty. (Genesis 15:1-6 NET)
For people who say a person can’t complain or speak back to God, here is Abraham, the father of faith doing just that and being understood and blessed in a great way by God. Don’t just listen to what traditions say about how God thinks and acts. All the heroes of the Bible were radical and audacious, doing what others were afraid to do, focusing on a sincere, simple faith rather than one of religion and rules.
There are times that God is looking for a feisty, fighting attitude from us. Many times God would prefer us to feel frustrated than to be at peace, to feel revolt instead of satisfaction. It is wrong to describe Christianity as solely being patient, loving, and kind; at times we need to be angry, to feel hatred, to be looking for a fight, to be hungry for a huge victory over our enemy. God feels peace, but at the same time is frustrated at the way evil controls the world. God loves us but hates the devil who constantly tempts us to doubt Him and sin.
Abraham was right to question God. He believed in His promise, and while waiting for it to be fulfilled he reminded God of it. Instead of revealing doubt and disrespect, Abraham’s complaint revealed absolute faith in God’s word and an insistence on it coming true. And as a reward for his determined faith, God promised him not one son, but as many children as stars in the sky.
How does this relate to us? God wants us to complain with Him and insist on His promises coming true, all the while never losing our respect and awe for Him. Complaining joined with the fear of God, is a quality that greatly pleases God. Our complaint proves that we expect Him to be exactly who He promised: faithful. Our respect and sense of awe prove that we regard Him as the Almighty God, and yet know that we are nothing without Him. He is pleased to answer us so that this sinful world will take note that He is alive and powerful. Like Abraham, don’t be discouraged when difficult, and seemingly impossible problems come your way. Use the methods and faith of Abraham, and just watch how your bond with God strengthens as prayer after prayer is answered.