Phil 4:11-13 “11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 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. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Have you ever felt a wave of discontentment come over you? There is nothing out of the ordinary going on, but you just feel “BLAH”. Everything seems to get on your nerves a little bit more. Your drive to serve God is a struggle. Going to work feels like the last place on earth you want to be. You just want to escape from everything. Even those who you love most.
Listen to these words from Elisabeth Elliot. This may shed some light on what is going on…
“The devil is evidently attacking you in your innermost heart, not causing you to doubt so much as causing a spirit of discontent. Fortunately, we both know that temptation is not a sin, it is yielding to temptation that causes us to sin and I feel that you must count it joy that you are passing through these times of difficulty, for they are sure signs that the Lord is blessing you. It comes from the flesh and self-introspection. It is good for us to look at self and know how loathsome it is, but with one look at self we must take 10 looks at Christ….No one goes to church more than the devil does, and no one appears as an angel of light as he does. We are in the thick of facing powers of darkness who are determined to rob us of Him and rob God of us, and you and I have just got to hope in Christ and rely on Him for His spirit to direct our thoughts, our ways, and our works so that it is not us but Christ in us.”
While these words may not change how you feel, it does give us clarity and a place to fight from. I love this line, “They are a sure sign God is blessing you”. Adam and Eve were right in the middle of the blessing of God, but Satan used the temptation of discontentment to lead them astray. It is an internal attack. It is the attack on our mind. It is that discontentment that can take us right out of the God’s will and blessing on our life.
Use these three powerful tools to battle through discontentment:
(1) Redirect Your Mind
Phil 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
What we ponder is what we perceive. We’re discontent because we’ve been meditating on the wrong things and become weighed down with frustration, negativity and complaint. Redirecting our mind will allow to us see the difference between the truth and the lies the enemy is telling us.
(2) Realign Your Vision
Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
The writer of Hebrews says, “Get your eyes on Jesus”. There is no better cure for discontentment than to remember that you live for an audience of One. He has been through it all and can help you navigate the waters of discontentment and restore your joy.
(3) Remember Your Purpose
Eph. 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
The phrase, “God’s got a plan” may seem to be overused, but let this sink in. Discontentment in our life often arises when our plan and expectations are not happening like we think or thought they should. Go back to this verse and embrace the simplicity of it. God’s got a plan for my life and if I keep my eyes on Him and follow Him I can trust that He is leading me into the plan and purpose for my life.