June 28, 2022

God Doesn’t Answer Complaints


And they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained, “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink.  And we hate this horrible manna!” Numbers 21:5

It’s ok to pour out the concerns of your heart out to God. There’s even an entire book of the Bible devoted to lament.

I had been awake for hours in the night mulling over pressure-inducing issues in my life. The next morning, my usual time spent with Jesus and reading the Bible was a non-stop half hour of me complaining to Him. It was a depressing way to start the day!

But later that afternoon I sat up straight when I read this: “God answers prayer, but He doesn’t answer complaints.”[1] I realized that I had spent my morning with my complaints, rather than with Jesus. “Complaints,” writes Joyce Meyer, “open a door for the devil to work in our lives, but prayer with thanksgiving opens a door for God to work in our lives.”[2] Like the Israelites in the Bible–who complained against God and Moses as they roamed around in the wilderness saying, “Why have you brought us out here to die?  There’s nothing to eat or drink…And we hate this horrible manna!” (Numbers 21:5).  What was completely forgotten was the thanksgiving! The Israelites forgot that God had rescued them from slavery and was keeping them alive in the first place.  And I forgot that God promises to be with me in difficulty, give me wisdom and work all for my good (Isaiah 41:10, James 1:5, Romans 8:28).

“Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done,” says Philippians 4:6. “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand” (v.7).  Complaining forgets who God is and what He’s done in my life.  God honors authentic prayer, with thanksgiving.

[1] Meyer, J. (2022). God Doesn’t Answer Complaints. In The Power of Thank you: Discover the Joy of Gratitude (pp. 103). FaithWords.

[2] Ibid.