The BSF study in the Life of Moses has uncovered a sin in my life that I hadn't considered long and hard before. I have learned that when I am complaining about whatever circumstance I am facing and let's face it, even when I do pray to God about my situations, I am also quick to let people know that I am suffering BIG time!
The Israelites were the same way. God provided for them time and time again and yet every time they encountered the next hardship they complained like they had no idea where their provision came from. Even when God provided, they weren't always happy with His solution and griped about it too. God provided manna to feed nearly 2-4 million people there in the desert; not just occassionally but consistently for 40 years. I sympathize with the Israelites in that there wasn't a lot of variety in their cuisine, but they were sustained by God's hand. Even so, they complained.
God made it clear to the Israelites and now to me that when we complain we are telling God that we are not satisfied with how he has provided for us. Complaining is not against our circumstances, or other people, it is against God himself since he is the author of our lives and brings the people and the circumstances we face. Complaining is anti-witnessing. We are telling the world that God is insufficient, not satisfactory. Why would anyone choose to follow a God like that.
Now we do have an appropriate response to unpleasant circumstances...we can take our cares to God himself and ask him to give us relief. THEN we can testify to how he provides for us. That is really witnessing. In my time in this section of scripture, God has shown me how I am a complainer and what impact it has on my relationship to God and how it impacts my testimony here for him.
I don't think that we should not let people know our struggles or give the impression that we don't have battles each day, but we should not allow bitter circumstances to give rise to a bad attitude in our lives. Too often I have allowed that and justified my poor behavior by attributing it to my unpleasant circumstances. After all, it is understandable how a person would not be joyful when all around is hardship.
Too often, I allow circumstances to dictate my mood. Too often the unbelieving world has looked to me to demonstrate how God is sustaining me through hard times and I have only shown them complaints and bitterness. Now that God has shown me this in my life, I am committed to changing the pattern (with his help) so that my life is a living testimony of the greatness of God, not just when I am being blessed, but also when I am being guided through my own wilderness of suffering and trial as well.