I’m sure we can all say that there are areas in our lives that we feel are lacking..
Maybe some things that we wish we had, or we wish we were, or wish we had done..?
I’ve always been a grass is greener kind of girl. When I am in one place, I wish I was somewhere else, and as soon as I am there, I wish I was where I used to be.
There have been times that I have prayed and prayed and prayed for something, and as soon as I received it, it quickly lost its shine, and I moved onto the next thing.
I think it can be easy to become discontent with what we have, but when we do, we soon begin to see how this attitude creeps into every area of our life..
We start off thinking about how great it would be to have that gorgeous jacket we saw at the mall. This quickly turns into wanting something bigger, like a car or a house. Once we obtain all of that, it doesn’t feel like enough, and so we turn our attention to our lack of riches, our less than perfect marriage, our children that don’t always behave, etc.
…but it can all get pretty exhausting, you know?.. Continuously wanting more.
I have so much to be grateful for, but if I allow the desire for more to overshadow my present blessings, that will only lead to an unfulfilling life.
Yesterday, the pastor at our church gave a sermon on one of the most famous scriptures in The Bible.. I’m sure you know it..
I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
– Philippians 4:13
I think you could say it’s one of the most loved scriptures, and for good reason.. I mean when you hear it you most likely think “Jesus is going to give me the strength that I need to accomplish, obtain, and overcome anything that I want”. I’d say that sounds like a pretty sweet deal, don’t you think? Well, if we dive deeper, we see that’s not quite exactly what Paul meant.
Lets look back at the two verses that precede this scripture.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
– Philippians 4:11-12
You see, Paul is explaining that he has learned how to be content, happy, and at peace, in every state he is in. He said he knows what it’s like to have lots, and also to have nothing. He’s had times where all of his needs were met, and times where they weren’t.. but in all of these moments he has to learned to feel fulfilled.
I don’t know about you.. but if I was able to think like that, I know my life would be a lot easier.
So what is the key to unlocking this awesome way of thinking? Well, here it is….
Yep.. you heard it right!
The key to living a life of contentment, no matter how much money you have, where you live, what your job is, married or not, how many kids you have, etc, etc, etc. is JESUS.
I can be content with having less money, through Christ which strengthens me.
I can be content with a marriage that is less than perfect, through Christ which strengthens me.
I can be content when my children are acting out, through Christ which strengthens me.
I can be content with whatever ups and downs come my way, through Christ which strengthens me.
You see, that’s what this scripture is all about.. It’s not about getting everything we want, but about knowing that Jesus is all that we need.
I could choose to become unsatisfied with my life.. I think we all can, if we try.. but what good will that do? The Lord has blessed us with all that we need, and SO much more. In order to have a life filled with His peace, we have to replace “if only” and “what if”, with “Thank you Jesus”.
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
– Hebrews 13:5
I know how easy it can be to get caught up with constantly wanting something else.. wishing things were better.. desiring to be more than what I am.. but the more I grow in my walk with Christ, I am seeing that even if I were to get everything that my little heart desires, if I don’t have Jesus, I have nothing.
He tells us that He will never leave us, nor forsake us.. What’s better than that??
We don’t ever have to worry about getting enough or being enough.. because He will never leave us!
We don’t ever have to worry about whether or not our struggles will get better.. because He will never forsake us!
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, what shall we drink? or, wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: ) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
– Matthew 6:31-33
You see, The Lord knows what we need, and what we desire. He will always provide just enough.. and everything else? Well, seek His Kingdom FIRST, and the rest will come. (Only if it is according to His will, of course).
Think of King Solomon.. that man literally had everything. But he soon realized that the things of this world, the things that please our flesh.. they are empty, unfulfilling, vanity.. (read Ecclesiastes, and you will see).
We can search this whole world, but the only thing that will ever be able to complete us, fill us with joy, and give us peace, is The Lord.
I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
– Ecclesiastes 1:14
The world will continue to try to convince us that what we have is not enough.. our jobs, our finances, our houses, even our kids. But it is so important for us to separate ourselves from this way of thinking. The Lord does not call us to live our lives always longing for something else. We must always be thankful for what He has given us.
Being discontent robs us of our joy, our peace, our strength. When we give into the temptations, we will no longer be able to see the beauty in the blessings that we have been given.
Believe me, I know how easy it can be to get caught up in the sparkle and shine of this world. We think” if only I have this I will be happy, I will be able to do more, I will live a life of meaning.” But it’s all bologna.
The things of this world will all eventually fade, but Our Lord will always remain.
Once we surrender our wants to The Lord, we will begin to see that
Jesus is all that we could ever need.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
– Colossians 3:1-2
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