In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the Lord's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death."
Studying Colossians recently I was struck by the Apostle Paul's exhortation to the opposite attitude of complaining, which is an attitude of continual thanksgiving.
Colossians 1:3 records Paul's thankfulness for the believers in Colossae and reminds them in verse 12 to be thankful that they have an inheritance with all the saints as well as a new citizenship:
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
In Col. 2:6-7, Paul suggests thankfulness for our inheritance in Christ as a protection against false teaching and a support to a growing faith:
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Chapter 3:15 connects thankfulness to conflict resolution leading to unity among believers: "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." Chapter 4:2 describes the attitude we should always possess: "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."
The pressing need of our day is for God's people not to become a part of the bitterness, grumbling, and dissension that characterizes our age, but to be thankful— and, in so doing, to be a witness that we are plugged into something better—the joy of knowing Jesus.
Psalm 105:1, "Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done."