The pilgrimage from here to eternity was never intended to be easy.
So naturally, we are inclined to grumble about our circumstances! Perhaps our grumbling is related to the fact that we are confused about the sequence of events: Rewards occur after we get to heaven! The present however, is the time for character training in preparation for eternity.
The comforting news is that amidst this time of testing and development, we have been given the enabling presence of the Holy Spirit:
“We ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit… groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:23)
And so… understandably, we groan.
But grumble? That is quite another matter!
When we grumble, we signify a basic discontent with our lot in life, and a challenge to God’s sovereign purposes. In effect we are saying that God has unfairly violated our rights by allowing us to experience difficult circumstances. We feel we deserve better than this!
In their trek across the desert en route to the Promised Land, the Jews responded similarly to adversity:
From their perspective, there was never enough water and comfort, and the food was of the wrong variety! They felt they deserved better than this!
Citing their example, Paul admonishes us:
“Do not grumble… (or) test the Lord as some of them did… God was not pleased with most of them… ” (1 Corinthians 10:10a, 9a, 5a)
QUESTION: Amidst the trials of your life, are you groaning or grumbling? How you answer that question reflects whether or not you understand and accept the fact that this earthly sojourn is God’s time and means of making you Christlike in preparation for eternity. (Romans 8:28-30)