We are all pursuing contentment—to feel completely satisfied, completely at peace—no wants, no aching needs, no fears, no doubts, no broken dreams, no disappointments, no pain, no loose ends. We may even, at times, be driven by discontent. We might have a compulsion to change something, so we dye our hair or perhaps do something even more drastic, like run away for a few days, just to “get away.”
I’m not talking about the motivation to add variety to our lives and break from routine from time to time. I think this is healthy and even God leads us to go from season to season. But have you felt stuck for too long in a particular season? Have you felt forgotten and overlooked by God? Or that He just isn’t really involved in your life and that’s why you’re waiting and waiting on something?
Oftentimes, God designs our circumstances to bring to the surface a source of anger, fear, impatience, and aggravating discontent—and then prevents us from getting away from it. And if we do get away from it, the cost to do so is very high in terms of money, stress, and anxiety, and if substance abuse is our escape—mental and emotional integrity. We can feel like prisoners, like God hates us, and crumble into debilitating tears of self-pity.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t cry. The Lord urges us to pour out our hearts to Him, and He does an amazing work of mending our hearts when we trust Him with it. We are refreshed and renewed, and the pain becomes a memory without any personal attachment to it. During quiet times with Him, Jesus will even lead us to a buried hurt that will cause us to cry—to free us from it! The Lord wants us to be free from all of the ailments that underlie discontent, and His Word medicates each ailment.
How can words in a book medicate our personal pains and discontentment? We must remember that a powerful and living being abides in the words of Scripture. John 1:14 says, the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. Jesus is the Word, and when we take in the Word, Jesus is doing something profound and real in us—through Himself. So we have Him inside us, even as we experience the working of what His word says. What I mean is, we don’t just say something and ta-da, it happens to us. We have God Himself, and much of our discontent will resolve itself by simply being with Him.
Even so, the enemy, Satan, will attack the Christian’s peace and contentment. Paul in his letter to the Philippians, cautions the believers to rejoice in the Lord. He says, “I say again, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). Praising God and cultivating a thankful heart throughout the day, regardless of inconvenience, delay or frustration that may crop up, will protect us from acting out in discontent and following the will of Satan (our destruction) rather than the will of the Lord (our well-being and sanctification).
In what area of discontent can you be free from by believing in the Word of God and trusting Jesus to do a work in your heart?