Session 11

What we miss out on when we're busy complaining

From Numbers: A 5-Week Devotional


Numbers 11

We all know someone who complains all the time. Someone who says “Nothing ever goes my way” or “Every time I order something it always gets messed up.” This person is never happy and always has something negative to say. The struggle to be content isn’t a new concept. Thousands of years ago, God’s people fought the same battle we do today — it just looked a little different.

God promised to save Israel from hardship and slavery in Egypt, and He made good on His promise. In Exodus 15, the Israelites sang to God thanking Him for rescuing them. They were full of excitement about their next journey. Numbers picks up where Exodus leaves off, following Israel’s journey to the promised land.

The journey, while God-ordained and led, was not easy. And often, the same is true for us. When God opens the door for us to a new and exciting adventure, it doesn't mean everything will fall perfectly into place.

The Israelites asked for food in the desert, and God literally rained down bread from heaven. But over time, the miraculous became mundane. In Numbers 11, the Israelites started to complain.

“Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed. “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!” (Numbers 11:4-6).

Sometimes, we can be like the Israelites, complaining about the same thing we used to celebrate. God has blessed us and given us everything we need. If we don’t recognize the good things God has already given us, then we’ll never be content with what we have. While complaining leads to thirsting for more being thankful leads to joy.


  • Do you see a pattern of complaining in your life? What’s one step you can take to complain less today?
  • How can you be more grateful for the things you have and not want "more"?

11 of 35

Devotionals From This Study

to Discover More

Session 1

What God is doing while you wait

Ever noticed that going on vacation takes a lot of preparation? There’s packing, planning, budgeting, taking time off work. Jumping in yo...

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Session 2

Who can you turn to?

You have to stay late at work, your kids need to be picked up from school, and you are in a panic. Who can you call? Who will come throug...

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Session 3

You have a role in the church

Have you ever felt insecure in your role at work or on a project? Maybe you didn’t know where to start because your role was never define...

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Session 4

How to work better together

When’s the last time you were handed a big assignment? Maybe it was a group project in college or a work presentation. Now, imagine your ...

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Session 5

How to right your wrongs

“You owe me!” Maybe you’ve said this if you’ve had your wallet stolen, been injured in an accident or even had property destroyed. For an...

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Session 6

How well do you keep your word?

Yes. I promise. I swear. I’ll make it happen. Most definitely. For sure. There are a million ways we make promises with our words, ...

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Session 7

How can giving be better than receiving?

The Pay It Forward movement is something that has been going around for years. Every once in a while though, someone gives it an extra bo...

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Session 8

What is holiness really about?

In Numbers 8, God lays out the cleansing ritual Levites went through before working in the tent of meeting. The Levites’ role was to serv...

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Session 9

You are here. Now what?

Has God ever told you to do something, but when you acted you didn’t see immediate results? Maybe you’ve felt Him nudging and pointing yo...

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Session 10

How valuable are you?

We accomplish far more together than we ever could on our own. One of the core beliefs of NewSpring Church is that we can’t do life alone...

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Session 11

What we miss out on when we’re busy complaining

We all know someone who complains all the time. Someone who says “Nothing ever goes my way” or “Every time I order something it always ge...

Read Devotional

Session 12

Two emotions that can ruin a relationship

Jealousy and insecurity are like parasites, sneaky and destructive they jump at any chance to wrap their tentacles around our hearts and ...

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Session 13

How to be comfortable with change

We may not all fear change, but most of us would say change is something we would rather avoid. If we do something long enough, we’ll in...

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Session 14

What do you need to say yes to today?

Saying “yes” to one thing is saying “no” to something else. Saying “yes” to the challenging, but exciting job promotion is saying “no” to...

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Session 15

What grace is not

Have you ever compared yourself to someone else on social media? Gotten frustrated with a family member and responded harshly? Maybe you ...

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Session 16

How to follow a leader you don’t agree with

Why should I listen to him? Who put him in charge? I should be in charge. He’s messing everything up. I would be much better at his job, ...

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Session 17

Listen to God and do what He says

The Bible’s big, overarching story speaks to every person’s struggle to acknowledge and follow God. Whether it’s an illness, a financial ...

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Session 18

What happens when we tithe

God provided for the Levites in a different way than he provided for other tribes. Instead of giving them a portion of the promised land,...

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Session 19

Why did animals have to die?

If we’re disturbed by the sacrifice of animals, it’s because we’re supposed to be. Making payment for our sin shouldn’t be seen as an eas...

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Session 20

Are the consequences my fault?

Think about all the wise advice you have been given over the years. Don’t run with scissors. Drink more water. Eat more fruits and veg...

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Session 21

What really saves you

In Numbers 21, the Lord sent venomous snakes among the people of Israel. After the people were bitten and many died, they asked Moses to ...

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Session 22

Where is your attention?

Clocks. Watches. Task lists. Reminders on your phone. We are surrounded by reminders of time. But in all of our efforts to make the most ...

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Session 23

Can you change God’s mind?

Have you ever tried to run away from something God has already spoken over your life? For example, you know God has called you to quit sc...

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Session 24

You can’t pay me enough

Have you ever been asked to do something that didn’t feel right but the offer was so attractive it seemed wrong to say no? You may have t...

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Session 25

If no one knows, why does it matter?

A sturdy foundation for your home is crucial to your personal safety and the safety of your family. However, over time small cracks can a...

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Session 26

Is God part of your plan?

Are you a planner? You know the type — the person who plans vacations down to the minute, separates the grocery list by departments, and ...

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Session 27

Do you love those you lead?

Think about how you got where you are today. Who most influenced you along the way? Picture  the coaches, parents, mentors, and friends w...

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Session 28

What does it mean to worship?

Imagine what it was like to be someone in Israel, on a seemingly endless camping trip in the wilderness. You see daily offerings, weekly ...

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Session 29

Every Sunday is a celebration

During the seventh month of the year, the people of Israel celebrated three major holidays — the Festival of Trumpets, the Day of Atoneme...

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Session 30

Five steps to keeping promises

“But you promised!” Parents have heard this broken hearted cry. If someone disappointed us, we’ve said it, too. Broken promises destroy ...

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Session 31

Can you be too generous?

Einstein explained the law of conservation of energy by stating, "Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one ...

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Session 32

What do to when "it" gets real

We all know how it feels to be nervous or anxious. Maybe it was that time you had to stand in front of a crowd. Maybe it was that time yo...

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Session 33

Take time to reflect

For many of us, summertime means a road trip is in our future. The destination has been chosen, and the pit stops have been planned. Vaca...

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Session 34

God is a giver and a forgiver

It would be easy to skip sections of the Bible like lists of names and places we’ve never heard of. However, we can still learn something...

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Session 35

Does God have a rule for this?

In Numbers 36, Zelophehad’s daughters were allowed to inherit their father’s land but it came with a snag. If these women married someone...

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