If you asked what my daily sin struggle was, being dissatisfied would be at the top of the list (tied with a few other things, but we’ll leave those nasty confessions for another day…). The opposite of being unhappy with my possessions, situations, relationships, etc. is to be content with what God has given me, where He has placed me, and who He has placed in my life.
Oh, contentment! How I’ve tried to master you! I’ve prayed for contentment. I’ve made lists of the “positive” things to certain situations. I’ve meditated on verses dealing with contentment. I’ve asked others to hold me accountable with this issue. I’ve read books on contentment, gleaned from the wisdom of others, sat at their feet, cherished their words and ideas, and yes, even preached sermons to myself!
Yes, all of those things are good – even wonderful things to do on a daily (sometimes hourly!) basis. Yet, it never ceases to amaze me how each and every day this nasty, pesky sin creeps back into my heart.
It never fails that God ties “random” sermons, conversations, and readings together in my life to teach me lessons. If you follow this blog, you know this month I am reading Uneclipsing the Son by Rick Holland. What a powerful book! Because of this, my mind has been thinking and focusing on Jesus much more than normal. Today, as I was spending time with my Savior, these verses from Hebrews 13 leaped off of the page and slapped my discontented face between the eyes:
5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” 7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever… 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Jesus is the answer. We are commanded here to be content BECAUSE we have Jesus!! (verses 5-6)
When I’m feeling discontent, – focus on Jesus. He will never leave me.
When I wish I had more “stuff” or lived in a different place – Jesus. He will never change.
When discouragement overwhelms me – Jesus. He deserves my praise.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
So simple – yet we make it so hard.
Yes, I’ll still pray, still meditate on verses, still ask others to hold me accountable and encourage me with their wisdom, still read books, and certainly still need to preach to myself. But, as I move through life seeking to be content, I pray my mind and heart will be focused on Jesus – the sweetest name I know!
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