How To Discover Contentment.

Posted: May 4, 2023 in Uncategorized

There was a viral pandemic that hit me in the United States way before 2020. Recently defined as “Discontentment Disease” and any spiritual doctor would have diagnosed me with a bad case of it in my early twenties and early thirties. Discontentment drove me to ask the Lord to move away from discomfort or difficult people. “God, can I move on from this relationship, church, job, etc…?”. The answer I often heard was, “You are free to choose”. What if God desired self-control more than controlling me?

I took discontentment with me to every situation and it didn’t matter if I changed my outward circumstance, I still couldn’t find joy or contentment. Does that mean that God’s best answer for me was to leave difficult people? I believe God knew in my heart I was full of discontentment and He desired for me to learn from Him contentment. I wasn’t looking for His comfort as a friend, I was looking for His demand as a Father. Instead of demands, He gave me freedom to choose jobs, relationships, etc.. and so then as a young adult I may have chosen to change my outward circumstances more than changing my underwear (insert laugh track and drum roll here). I couldn’t be depended on to be faithful by other people and that was no joke!

What a revelation of grace did was bring an understanding of internal contentment in my thirties. Why did it take that long? The law offers bipolar performance (self-righteousness) for contentment. I didn’t discover to receive from Jesus Himself contentment until I hit the bottom of my self-righteousness. God was always offering contentment through Jesus but I wasn’t receiving by faith His righteousness. Jesus offered me righteousness and contentment in my home which radically impacted my home life, church, work, etc. Difficult circumstances repeated over the next decade and more but understanding my righteousness in Christ helped me to live from contentment not for contentment.

Changing jobs, relationships, churches can be healthy when being led by the Spirit. What is not healthy is a lifestyle of launching forward from discontentment instead of contentment. Look at Abraham content in the land he is living and God asks Him to move by faith. Look at the Apostle Paul who was content in all circumstances and after a few years of planting and making disciples, he was asked to move cities to do it again. Changing circumstances is not a problem, nor is obeying God to do so. Discontentment is a disease and how the world makes their decisions to change circumstances. Do you think Jesus was discontent in being a carpenter or was He 100 percent living present from contentment and moved by faith to obey the Father to launch into ministry?

Maybe you started your natural adult life out launching from discontentment from your child hood home. As a young adult, your discontentment was possibly from thinking you know more than your parents or worse….maybe you didn’t have parents to launch you forward from a place of contentment. However you got to today’s internal discontentment, it’s time to frame our past with God’s eyes of grace. How do we do that practically? I’m glad you asked…. Are you ready? Here are three practical ways I discovered to pray from a place of contentment and could be repeated in your quiet time with the Lord:

Prayer One: “Thank you for choosing me on the earth as such a time as this” Meditation: Did you know that you could have been born over the last recorded 5,000 plus years in any physical body or home and God chose your body and this timeline? It was no accident that He made you and contentment begins with accepting this. Think today’s generation is very dark and evil compared to a hundred years ago? God’s answer was to place you for such a time as this!

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
– Jeremiah 1:5 Esv

Prayer Two: “Thank you for choosing the earthly parents you gave me and the childhood I experienced, because of this I learned that ___________ (spend some thoughtful time here) and_____________ is important to you. Jesus chose you to join His family and to impact the people He entrusted you with His compassion. God only knows what kind of life pain you have been through with earthly family but He chose you to His heavenly family with a rich history of compassion and love. He will not waste an opportunity what the enemy tried to destroy in your life experience to turn it to good and His purpose!

And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. -Romans 8:27-28 Esv

Prayer Three: “If nothing today changes in my circumstance, you have given me more than I deserve with your Son! I will choose to rejoice in You now for Your faithfulness in the middle of the storm.” Christians who wait to see circumstances change before changing their attitude are not walking by faith. Faith is the substance of things not seen. We can’t be discontent and full of praise at the same time.

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.  Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.– Philippians 4:10-12 Esv

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