Are You Tempted to Complain?

“Why should any living man complain?” Lamentations 3:39

Occasionally, I am tempted to complain of my hard lot–and think myself harshly dealt with. Ingratitude rises and works in my heart. This always makes me wretched. I then find it profitable to look down into Hell–and realize its horrors and agonies as my just deservings.

If anyone ever deserved to go to Hell–I did!

If justice was ever honored in a sinner’s damnation–it would have been in mine!

If anyone was ever saved by grace alone–I am the man!

Shall I then, who deserve to be in Hell–but am not;
shall I, who am an heir of Heavenly glory–though no one ever deserved it less;
shall I, because of a few trials, troubles, and disappointments, or because I have rather a heavy cross to carry–
shall I dare to murmur, or fret, or complain, or think myself harshly dealt with?

Shocking inconsistency!

What are my present pains or sufferings–compared with the Hell that I deserve!

All the afflictions that I am called to endure here on earth–cannot be compared with only twenty-four hours in Hell! And yet my desert is, not to be in Hell for a few hours–but forever! Surely every lost soul, every damned spirit–will be ready to upbraid me–if I complain of my present lot! What base gratitude–if I do not praise the Lord with joyful lips, for His rich, free, and sovereign grace!

O my soul, whenever I am tempted to complain of my difficult lot–think of my deservings! Think of what would have been my eternal doom–if God had not saved me by His sovereign grace!

Yes, I do find that looking down into Hell . . .
silences my complaints,
awakens my gratitude, and
humbles me in the dust before my God!

~ James Smith, “ANTIDOTES!” 1858

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