How to Find Contentment Today
What is it that we want? What do we spend countless minutes and hours praying and asking God for? Do we want to find a new job, be promoted in our current job, have a bigger house, find a husband; if we're married -- have a baby, if we already have a baby -- have another one? Most likely we would immediately think of material things like these, things that we want and believe could make us happier by having them. It is part of our human nature is to seek things/situations that will better ourselves. However, when we desire more things there is inevitably a foundation of discontentment with our current situation.
Contentment has been on my heart lately, and I have a few thoughts I want to share. I struggle with contentment because I am single. I am surrounded by social media boasting engagement/wedding photos, pictures of people I graduated with and their beautiful families. I have best friends, always supportive and praying for me…with their husbands.
Our culture bombards us with marriage propaganda, and not only that, but allows us to make the assumption that if we are still single, then something is wrong with us. Although I have frequently been reminded that God is in control, and in my heart I know that His plan is greater than any I could ever make on my own, I still struggle with contentment in this single season. Others may consider me a joyful person; that is, regardless of the current situation, I have love and peace to rely on. But the truth about me is, circumstantially, I am often discontent.
First, I’d like to clearly state that there is nothing wrong with having desires for things. What matters is how we deal with our desires.
Are we putting the desire on such a pedestal that we are neglecting our duties as Christians?
The desire placed on the pedestal is often out of our reach, so we start to devise plans on how to obtain it. The desire can become an obsession before we realize it. Whatever is put on that pedestal has the potential to become an idol, and we serve a jealous God; nothing should be put before Him. On the other hand, God hears our prayers, and He knows our desires. Not only does he know what we desire, He is also aware of the motive behind why we're asking Him for something.
"You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures." -James 4:3
So, how can we be sure our wants line up with God’s desires?
Let me try to explain what a Godly desire looks like. If we live constantly in a state of discontentment or want for the future...we aren't really living in the present. It makes sense that if we are always pushing to the future, time goes by quicker. We miss out on the here and now. In Exodus 3, God tells Moses that He is “I AM WHO I AM”... He isn’t “I was” or “I will be.”
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” -Hebrews 13:8
Therefore, He is present in this very second, no matter when you are reading this. If our desires are to line up with God’s, we have to place our focus on the present. We can look forward to the future, but then we are not being truly observant of the opportunities God is blessing us with now.
Many times today’s blessings are being overlooked and belittled when they themselves may have been previously answered prayers (much like a kid’s toy on Christmas that gets old after a few days). We may unceasingly implore God for something, and after our request is answered, it becomes forgotten. Doesn’t it make sense that sometimes God intentionally makes us wait for our prayers to be answered because it is in our moments of need that we turn to Him? Because once the prayer has been answered, sadly, He often fades into the back of our minds.
If we become more aware of what God has already done in our lives and cherish the blessings we have currently, we stop putting our focus on what we don't have. We can fully dedicate ourselves to "such a time as this" so that our greatest desire becomes to serve a risen Savior in this very moment. When we learn to be content with what we have presently, life slows down. With our focus on today, it is as if we are presented with even more abundant opportunities to glorify God.
By practicing contentment, we have a common mindset with Christ and a peace that passes understanding which He offers us daily. We can find comfort knowing that we have enough to be content, right now. In order to influence others for Christ, we should portray contentment within every situation. God has abundantly blessed us.
"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" -Hebrews 13:5
He is always providing what we need, regardless of how grateful or ungrateful we are. Therefore, we must always be prayerful to God to help us be aware of today's blessings.
Let's not let today pass us by. Let us cherish our current blessings, our present stage of life, and our already-answered prayers. Let's be content and live joyfully for God's glory today!