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When we bought our current home, we knew we would be in for some cosmetic changes. Sure, the structure was sound and the major items had been updated, but the 1970’s wall paneling and carpet in the kitchen still remained. Not long after we were moved in and settled, discontentment found its place in my heart. Friends and family members were buying brand new houses with carefully chosen paint and coordinated countertops. Yet here we were with an endless list of projects and little money to fund them.
Life has a way of covering up the blessings we already have, doesn’t it? Our culture begs us to strive for more, buy the newly remodeled home, drive the nicest vehicle and never settle for less than we deserve. It is all about us and having things just the way we want. So how do we find ourselves in a contented place while living in a world that pushes us to do the opposite?
Ask God to Realign Our Hearts With His
Finding real contentment requires soul work. When we find ourselves feeling like we don’t have enough, it is okay to honestly go before the Lord and let him in on the secret we think he doesn’t already know. Psalm 139:23-34 says, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” HCSB Approach God with an honest heart and tell him you are not satisfied. Ask him to show you areas to turn over to him.
This is not a magical step, and it also is not a once and done prayer! You are still going to want the things or see the position you were once striving for. But you have now taken the first step toward contentment in offering your heart to God. He will carefully hold it while he replaces those desires with his peace.
- Pray Psalm 139 over your situation today. Write it down. Make it a daily practice and continue to note the condition of your heart each time you pray.
Appreciate What We Already Have
When I began to pray through my discontentment with our home, God began to highlight the things I already had. A solid marriage, a beautiful young son, a good job to help buy the necessities, and family living nearby. It may sound simple, but God gave me joy in the seemingly basic things! When I find myself discontented again, I remember how God was with me through a bigger season of restlessness and I know I can turn to him. I never feel ashamed or condemned. He gives me a new vision, and he will do the same for you.
“Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 HCSB
We have his promise to never leave us. Look at what you have and continue to seek him, “But godliness with contentment is a great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 1 Timothy 6:6-8 HCSB
Whether it is lack of money, position in the workplace or a coveted ministry that has your soul restless, take a moment to pause and consider what exists in front of you, including the gifts you have right now. Be sure to thank God for them!
- Make a list of the things you already have. It can be as simple as food, shelter and water! Give thanks for them.
Help Someone Else
It’s times like these that I need a tangible reminder of all I do have. What better way than to encourage someone else? Thinking of others takes the focus off of ourselves and what we do or do not have. It’s kind of like a mini vacation from our own desires.
Peter reminded his fellow believers of this, and it still holds true for us today. “Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God. 1 Peter 4:8-10 HCSB
Consider Proverbs 16:24“Pleasant words a honeycomb, sweet to the taste and health to the body.” HCSB
Have you ever received a card in the mail or a kind text message from a friend out of the blue? How did it make you feel? Think of ways you can encourage a friend or help a neighbor. Send them an encouraging text, drop a note in the mail, or pick up the phone. God puts people on our hearts for a reason. Your kind words will surely brighten their day, while helping you remember all you’ve been given.
Do you have free time on your calendar that you can use to help an overwhelmed mother? Offer her babysitting while you care for her little ones. The ideas are endless and can be partnered with your abilities.
We all feel unsatisfied at times. It is important to remember that we don’t have to stay there. With God’s help we can take steps to move from that place of discontentment to one of true peace.
- Take some time this week to pray Psalm 139 over the circumstances that are causing you to feel discontented. Ask God to show you areas you can bring to him. Be honest, and write them down.
- Make a list of the things you already have. If you don’t know where to begin, ask God to show you. Once you have written them down, be sure to thank God for all he has given you!
- Take a mini vacation from your situation. Reach out to a friend, or encourage a neighbor. Write a note, send a text or offer to help them.
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I know life can be crazy sometimes, and it is my prayer that you find comfort, encouragement and hope here.
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