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It Seems Like Such a Little Thing!

Fix your thoughts on those things that are
true and good and right.
Think about things that are pure and lovely,
and dwell on the fine good things in others.
Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.
Philippians 4:8

Paul tells us in Philippians to “rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.” What does it mean to rejoice? Webster defines it: to be or make glad or happy. Remember what an antonym is? What would you say is the antonym of rejoice? We could come up with several suggestions but I’d like to give this one: to murmur. Mr. Webster includes that in his book, too. Murmur: a mumbled complaint.

With that brief introduction I asked myself, “Do I ever murmur?” To which question I reply, “That’s really none of your business.” A quick, defensive comeback usually means, “Yes, I do, but I don’t care to talk about it.” I do. I murmur in the car, in the kitchen, in the laundry room, in Church–there is no place off limits for murmuring.

You remember that the children of Israel murmured when–when what? When things didn’t go the way they wanted them to go or expected them to go for their benefit. I’m really getting involved here–or might it be “convicted?” Paul (and there are a lot of very committed Believers who don’t care for Paul–he “thinks he knows everything” and he steps on our toes!) tells us that we are to rejoice, and that isn’t just Paul’s platform. How many times are we admonished to rejoice in David’s book, the Psalms? There are two full columns (very small print) in my exhaustive concordance with references for rejoice, rejoicing, rejoiced, etc. II Timothy 3:16 says all scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness. All scripture. So Paul, however dogmatic he might seem to be, didn’t write those notes of his, they were given to him by God–isn’t that what “inspired” means?

So what am I doing when I “murmur?” I’m doing something that I am told not to do–and I think that is called sinning. Sigh. So how do I keep from murmuring? Oh, it’s easy! By refusing the thoughts that come (from Satan) and replacing those thoughts with rejoicing. “Easy? You’ve got to be kidding! I can’t do that! I’ve tried and it doesn’t work!” (Double exclamation points!!) That’s because “I” tried. We can do nothing–remember? John 15:5 minces no words: Without Me you can do nothing and that includes “rejoicing.”

So, take a deep breath and say, “Lord, I am prone to murmur and I really don’t want to do that. Would You please take care of the little annoying things and those big devastating things that bring on the murmuring act? You didn’t murmur when you walked here on Planet Earth and You had a lot of legitimate very difficult things that You could have murmured about. Now you live in me and You aren’t going to murmur.

I need to stay after school and write 100 times on the blackboard:

Jesus lives in me and He will not murmur. Jesus lives in me and He will not murmur. Jesus lives in me and He will not murmur. . . just 97 to go! Suppose I’ll remember that from now on when I finish that last “murmur?”

You know we might as well admit it–that’s called confessing–and relax–we asked Him and He has said that He will do it all for us. (That’s a promise!)

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.