What’s everyone complaining about?

His Path Christian Centre pastor Patricia Bryan writes the Act of Faith column this week

  • Oct. 16, 2013 10:00 a.m.

Celebrating Thanksgiving was a great reminder  how the act of giving thanks changed my life.

I remember the day clearly. I had been chronically ill for five years and was continuing to decline in health, both physically and emotionally.

As I was going to ascend the basement stairs, they suddenly seemed impossible for me to climb. I was just too weak. I stood there staring hopelessly at the top and considered crawling up the stairs. It struck me that for some reason this was a pivotal moment for me, although I didn’t know why.

I decided I would take one step at a time slowly. To my surprise, when I took the first step, I said, “Thank you, Lord.”

After that, with every step, I thanked the Lord for enabling me to do so. By the time I reached the top, I was truly grateful and at peace with what normally would have been a tense and upsetting situation. Thankfulness had changed my attitude and also the outcome. I was still tired physically, but not exhausted emotionally from frustration and defeat.

I had found gratitude in a place of struggle and suffering and it forever changed me.

After that day, I began thanking the Lord regularly for even the smallest blessings in my life. Without realizing it, I was developing a lifestyle of thankfulness. My focus was no longer on what I had lost or didn’t have, but was on what was still positive in my life.

In my experience, being grateful is an important key to staying happy, despite what difficulties may come our way.

Conversely, complaining has the opposite effect.

In Psalm 77, verse 3, the psalmist wrote: “I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed.”

Dr. Dale Robbins has stated: “I used to think people complained because they had a lot of problems. But I have come to realize that they have problems because they complain. Complaining doesn’t change anything or make situations better. It amplifies frustration, spreads discontent and discord … ”

Plain and simple, we need to resist complaining (Philippians 2, verse 14) and choose to be thankful (1 Thessalonians 5, verse 18). This is a life-changing decision and one that will powerfully and positively impact our lives.

So, although Thanksgiving Day happens just once a year, we should endeavour to express our gratitude to God and people every day.

Patricia Bryan is pastor of His Path Christian Centre and the Academy of Prayer.

Just Posted

The Asante Centre in Maple Ridge gets a boost from the CMA

A $20,000 grant was awarded for the centre’s FASD peer mentorship program

Letter: Time change has outlived its usefulness

More negative effects on people and communities then positive ones

Rotary duck race winners given sports car

First big win for Maple Ridge mother of three boys Jody Makela

Maple Ridge’s first retail cannabis store opens Monday

Spiritleaf is just the second private pot shop in the Fraser Valley

Burrards lose to Shamrocks in double overtime

WLA championship series moves to Maple Ridge Sunday

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read