Grumbling Makes it Worse

9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord (James 5:9-10).

One of the things that usually accompanies the stress of suffering is a willingness to be short,
cross, or biting with the people around us. You’d think that when we were suffering it would be
in our best interest to help each other and encourage one another, but sadly, this is often not the

James knows this to be true. That’s why he exhorts his audience to not grumble against
one another. Grumbling will only the make the situation worse and who wants that?!?!

James calls to mind all the prophets of the Old Testament. Did you know that most of the
prophets of the Old Testament suffered greatly for being obedient to the Lord? It’s true.
Jeremiah, Isaiah, Habakkuk, and Hosea (among others) paid a price for being faithful to the word
of God that was given to them to communicate. They endured with patience the suffering that
they were called to.

But consider this as well. They didn’t know about Jesus! They knew that the promised
Messiah was to come, but they didn’t know nearly as much information about this Messiah as
James’ audience did. James’ people knew this Jesus and lived in light of his life, death, and
resurrection. Because of this great revelation from God they should have been all the more
hopeful in light of their suffering.

Suffering is never fun, but God always uses is to refine us for his glory. May we
encourage one another in the process and remember those who have gone before us and endured

Read Deuteronomy 31:6
• How could this verse encourage you in the midst of suffering?
• How have you been tempted to grumble when things have not gone your way?
• How might the things we generally grumble about differ from the persecution that early
followers of Jesus faced?

Our Father, thank you that you promise to be with us no matter what we are going through. May
we be with each other as well in the midst of suffering. Help us to speak words of life and not
bring greater discouragement for those who suffer. Thank you that you have given us great
examples in your word to inspire us to carry on faithfully. In Jesus’ name, Amen.