James 5:9 (New International Version)
Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
In November 1782, Charles Simeon became pastor of the Holy Trinity Church in Cambridge, England. The church was less than pleased to receive this blustering minister who insisted that those who called themselves "Christian" be truly saved by grace and live lives more closely conformed to Christ.
Opponents within the church harassed Simeon by locking the family-owned pews, forcing those who wished to hear the new minister to find standing room as best they could. When Simeon brought in benches, the churchwardens took them out and threw them in the churchyard. When he tried to visit from house to house, hardly a door would open to him. This situation lasted at least ten years.
Simeon was also a target from those outside his church. The students at Cambridge held Simeon in disdain for his biblical preaching and his uncompromising stand as an evangelical. They repeatedly disrupted his services and caused a tumult in the streets.
One observer wrote from personal experience, "For many years Trinity Church and the streets leading to it were the scenes of the most disgraceful tumults." But through time, Simeon was steady in his ministry.
He remained at the Holy Trinity Church for 54 years. He began a Christian College at Holy Trinity and of the undergraduates Simeon trained during his 54 years, some 1,100 became effective-and many, distinguished- parish ministers, chaplains, and missionaries.
Dear Lord we pray that we would not grumble and complain. We pray that we be positive and a positive influence to the cause of Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.