“I hate to admit this, my friend,” Stan said one morning, “but my native language tends towards whining and complaining.”
“What do you have to whine or complain about?” I responded.
“You’re the second person to ask me that today,” Stan replied.
“Who was the first?” I asked.
“The Holy Spirit,” Stan responded a bit sheepishly.
“And what was that all about?” I asked.
“When I first got up this morning, I felt less than chipper. I couldn’t point to anything in particular, but I just wasn’t filled with joy. More whine and complaining than joy and praise.”
Continuing, Stan said, “As I opened my Bible to the Book of Acts, the Lord showed me an account of Paul and Silas where they had every reason to feel down, but they did not.”
“Is that where they were in jail?” I asked.
“Yes,” Stan replied. “They had been unjustly accused, beaten with rods, thrown into the deepest part of the prison, and locked in stocks.”
“Every reason to whine and complain,” I said.
“Yes,” Stan replied. “But do you know what they were doing?” He asked.
“I do,” I responded. “They were praying and singing hymns of praise.”
“Yes,” said Stan. “In very dire circumstances they were filled with praise.”
“Great lesson,” I said.
“It is a great lesson for me, above anyone else,” Stan responded. Continuing, he said “And there is another part to that story with another good lesson. We can talk about that tomorrow.”
“Look forward to it,” I said.
And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, 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. Acts of the Apostles 16:23-25.
Prayer: Lord, you know my tendency to whine and complain about my circumstances, the way of the world, and all sorts of things. Please forgive me. And, Lord, please help me to know in the depth of my being that I have absolutely nothing to complain about. I am blessed beyond compare. I know that and you know that. Please lead me, and help me to follow, to exactly where you intend for me to be in continually offering praise and thanksgiving to you regardless of my circumstances. May my life be one filled to overflowing with praise and thanksgiving. Thank you I can and do bring all of these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.