Devotions

Worshipping God When We Feel Like Whining

October 18, 2021
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” John 4:23 (NIV)
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God calls us to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. What does that look like in our daily lives — especially in those moments when we feel more like complaining than worshipping or giving thanks? That’s a question I (Rachel-Ruth) have asked myself for many years, as I can find myself easily slipping into complaining.

One instance sticks out in my mind. Just before my teenage years, my family had gone out of the country for a conference, and I’d been unable to go with them. So as a welcome distraction, my parents sent me to the Cove Camp, which was on the same property as my grandfather Billy Graham’s training center in Asheville, North Carolina.

At the end of the two weeks of camp, our families were to pick us up in a large field by the entrance to the camp. I had assumed my dad would come get me, so I was surprised to see my grandmother Tai Tai’s smiling face behind big, black sunglasses as she walked toward me. She had come home from her trip early! Thrilled to see her, I gave her a huge hug.

As we drove off, she explained that Mom and my siblings hadn’t yet returned from overseas. I whined about how I didn’t get to go and instead had to suffer through two weeks of snakes and mosquito bites.

Tai Tai simply laughed and said, “Fiddlesticks!” She was swatting away my whining like I did all those mosquitos. She then urged me to tell her all about the wonderful parts of camp and about the new friends I had made. In other words, I needed to get my mind off feeling sorry for myself and focus instead on all the blessings God had allowed me to experience.

Thinking back on her gentle encouragement and positive attitude reminds me of John 4:23: “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”

There is a day coming when all reason for whining will be removed. Until then, we can keep our hearts focused on worshipping the Lord in Spirit and in truth as we wait for His return.

How do we ignite that reverence for worship in the next generation?

My grandmother faithfully modeled this for me. I remember many other occasions when Tai Tai set a limit to my complaints. She had enormous compassion and wisdom. But she also had the discernment to tell when I was just feeling sorry for myself. She used her love of music, her sense of humor and her ability to commiserate with me to gently remind me to talk to Jesus about whatever the issue was instead of whining about it.

It’s been said that discouragement is the devil’s calling card. He loves to use discouragement to divide relationships, halt effective work and deflate us to the point that we can hardly function.

Worshipping the Lord is the best way to fight discouragement. Tai Tai showed me three practical ways to do this: focus on the blessings in my life, carry a song in my heart and keep a sense of humor to help remove any traces of discouragement.

Now, when I start to whine in my spirit, I seem to hear Tai Tai’s lilting voice say “fiddlesticks,” and I remember her encouragement to count my blessings and worship God for them.

Lord, reveal any ways in which I’ve allowed frustration and discouragement to obscure my awareness and appreciation of Your blessings. May my heart and mind turn to worshipping You, no matter the circumstances! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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With inspiring stories from their family and practical insight for raising the next generation of Jesus followers, Anne Graham Lotz and Rachel-Ruth Lotz Wright not only offer a glimpse into the living rooms and prayer closets of a faith-filled family, but they also equip you with the wisdom, motivation and practicalities you need to pass on your own faith to the next generation. Get your copy of Jesus Followers.

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FOR DEEPER STUDY

Deuteronomy 10:21, “He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.” (NIV)

Psalm 42:5, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (NIV)

Is it possible to worship God and still feel discouraged? Why or why not?

© 2021 by Anne Graham Lotz & Rachel-Ruth Lotz Wright. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks WaterBrook & Multnomah for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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