I always had in mind what I believed would bring me contentment, house with a white-picket fence and 2.5 children. God however had other plans for me than my picture-perfect idea of what I thought satisfaction was. I struggled for years accepting that my life had turned out differently than I had hoped. I lost my contentment by focusing on all my desires that were unfulfilled.
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I learned in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. Philippians 4:11-12
I have learned that contentment is accepting God’s control over all my circumstances. Most of us are content when our circumstances are going well, but God wants us to have contentment in all things and in all seasons in our lives.
Be joy-filled today, not when your circumstances will be perfect or you have everything that you want. Enjoy your life right now. Surrender all to God and release all control to Him. Do not dwell, ponder, wish or wonder when, why, or how come things have happened or nor happened.
Contentment is satisfaction with God’s sufficient provision. Satisfied. Not needing anything else. Contentment means not wanting more than what God has given you. Stop and ask yourself how content you are really? Do you wish you had a different family, a spouse, a child, more money, or a different home? I am not saying never desire or want anything, but when that thing you desire becomes an idol (putting anything above God) than you are risking not living content. Not being content will make you a miserable person.
Instead of talking about how big your problems are, start thanking and praising God instead, it will confuse the enemy! Try not to complain about your life’s circumstances and instead have a thankful and appreciative heart. It will do wonders for you to keep an attitude of gratitude.
Change your perspective! How do you handle life’s problems? Talk non-stop about them, complain, worry, become stressed or anxious or do you thank God that He will cause good to come from your troubles (Romans 8:28).
One of the biggest lies of the enemy is that God is a cosmic vending machine, and He is supposed to be my self-help genie.
7 practical steps to gaining contentment:
- Ask God to forgive you for wanting anything more than Him.
- Surrender ALL your desires and wants to God.
- Take it one day at a time. Try not saying, “Things will ALWAYS be this way.”
- Be thankful for what you do have.
- Believe God is in control and He knows what is best for your life.
- Do not compare your life with anyone else’s.
- Don’t complain about anything, the weather, your job, or what you are lacking.
The enemy will keep you focused on what you do not have, but that is a tactic of the enemy to keep you discontent. Contentment comes when we want God more than anything else.
We can complain that rose bushes have thorns, or we can rejoice that thorn bushes have roses. Abraham Lincoln.
What has you discontent with life, and what practical steps can you take today to gain contentment?
*Portions of this article was taken from Chapter 3 of my book, “Wilderness Mentality Stop Your Stinkin’ Thinkin.”