“…for I have learned to be content with whatever I have.” Philippians 4:11
In my previous post, we looked at discontentment from the standpoint of Eve’s mistake. The serpent (Satan) was successful at getting her to doubt God. She ignored all that God had provided in the garden and instead focused on what she lacked. This triggered a forever battle with discontentment in all of mankind. We fall into the same kind of trouble when we center our heart on the few things we don’t have rather than on the many blessings God has given us. If we allow a nagging discontentment to linger, a state of restlessness will hijack our contentment. King Solomon learned this vital lesson.
The book of Ecclesiastes is likely King Solomon’s last words of reflection on the meaning of life and his search to derive satisfaction from it. He discovered that a life void of a relationship with God led to a discontented state of being. Solomon learned this truth the hard way–through bitter experiences. Whatever contentment gained from worldly opportunities and successes are merely temporary. When we leave the Lord out of our quest for contentment, it results in a lost search. Frustration and inner turmoil will continue like a cut that festers until we seek a cure. And since God created us with eternity in mind, our souls long for something more–something that satisfies. Security, satisfaction, and contentment are found in pursuing a relationship with the Lord.
Are you feeling restless about another PCS (Permanent Change of Station) and the upcoming move? Burned out with the moving process? Dissatisfied at leaving your job? Dry and Disillusioned about the future? Is there a nagging sense of discontentment about where you are occupationally or physically in the military life? Or are you agitated and impatient concerning your current circumstances, but can’t put your finger on what will improve it? Consider using this discontentment to draw close to the Lord for the answers, contentment, and direction you need. If you have a concordance, look up Scripture verses that pertain to discontentment. And pray. Prayer is the channel for connecting to the heart of God. His desire is satisfy your soul’s search for contentment in Him.
Like Solomon discovered, the cure for discontentment is to center on God. If you’re serious about getting through the impasse, ask Christ to teach you how to be content and patient in your current situation. The apostle Paul found contentment by a willingness to obey Christ and by doing what Christ asked of him, for this brought joy to his heart knowing it pleased Him, rather than insisting on what he felt was due him. And also, realize that life is ultimately better with God.1 He provides the wisdom, direction, and knowledge for our searching hearts. Consider the truth of Chuck Swindoll’s words:
God never intended anyone to sail his own boat, without help, through the uncharted waters of life or ministry.
True satisfaction and enjoyment is ours when we build our lives around God’s guidelines for living. We must not build our lives on perishable pursuits, but on the solid foundation of God.2 Then, even if we lose it all, we still have God, who is all we really need anyway.3
If you would like to order a signed copy of Lisa’s book, Faith Steps for Military Families,
1 Bible Note for Ecclesiastes 8:12,13, Life Application Bible (Iowa Falls, IA: World Bible Publishers, Inc., 1989).
2 Bible Note for Ecclesiastes 2:16, Life Application Bible