Contentment has become a major theme in my life. It’s something that I keep coming back to again and again – especially in the past 2 years. Today I’m sharing about contentment, discontentment, trusting in God, and 3 questions to ask yourself to determine the areas you are discontent in! Listen in here:
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Throughout all of this, I know God is teaching me one huge important lesson: How to be content in all things.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
One of those big lessons in all of this is learning what it truly means to Trust God more!
“What does providence mean? In short, it refers to God’s work in which he upholds, governs, and sustains all things by his infinite power. The definition from the Heidelberg Catechism bears repeating:
‘God’s providence is his almighty and ever present power, whereby, as with his hand, he still upholds heaven and earth and all creatures, and so governs them so that: leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, indeed, all things come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand.’
The main thing to remember about God’s providence is that he is not disconnected from or disinterested in hat is happening in the world today. There is no such thing as chance, luck, or fate. Rather, God is upholding, governing, and ordering all things with his very hand. Nothing escapes God’s sovereign control.” – Chasing Contentment, pages 113-114
Are you discontent?
The thing about discontentment, is that it sneaks up on us. So many issues in our life our caused by our discontentment: stress and anxiety being among some of the biggest. In his book, Chasing Contentment Erik Raymond goes through 3 questions in chapter 7 to determine if you are being discontent in different areas of your life and I think it’s a really helpful exercise to go through! Ask yourself:
1) Am I grumbling about the present?
“If we are grumbling about something we’re going through right now, we are arguing with God. We are saying that we shouldn’t have to endure this. Our present experiences are like a magnet drawing out either our discontentment or our contentment. If you are grumbling, we can be sure we are not content. We are essentially saying that God is getting it wrong. Such discontentment questions God’s wisdom, goodness, and power.”
2) Am I bitter about the past?
“Everyone has faced hard days. Some people’s pasts are harder than others, but all hvae felt the string of sin and pain in our fallen world. Many people live under the cloud of their past hardships and become increasingly bitter. Over time they revisit and analyze the situations from the perspective of a victim, only to feed their bitterness. We cannot be content in the present when we are nursing bitterness about the past. We are basically saying that God has failed us. This discontentment too questions God’s wisdom, goodness, and power.”
3) Am I worrying about the future?
“What is going to happen tomorrow? How do I know it’s really going to be okay? Where will I work? Whom will I marry? We can ask hundreds of questions about the future, but the bottom line is that we don’t know. And we can’t know. Sadly, many people sit in bondage to worry about the future and lose the joy of contentment in the present. Jesus saw this as the trait of the unbeliever (Matt. 6:25-34) rather than the believer, who knows and trusts God. If we are worrying, we are as much as saying that God won’t get it right. This is yet another form of discontentment that questions God’s wisdom, goodness, and power.”
One last final thought:
“If we are to learn contentment, we have to be able to spot discontentment. If we are grumbling, bitter, or worrying, then we can be sure we are discontent. We need to run back to the Scriptures to find our rest in the providence of God and the God of providence.”