During my prayer walk one morning, after a particularly whiny session of pleading with the Lord, I was inspired to ask forgiveness for my discontentment. I was reminded of the Apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 4, that he had found “the secret of being content in any and every situation,” and also the advice in his letter to the Thessalonians to give thanks in all circumstances.
If I truly believe that God is a loving God who hears and answers prayer, that He wants what is eternally best for me, and that everything He allows in my life is for my good and His glory, how can I be discontented?
Like Paul, I should choose to be content in every situation. Paul found the strength of will to be content in the harshest circumstances by accepting that it was God’s will and being grateful for whatever God allowed in his life.
Gratitude and discontentment cannot coexist for long. Sooner or later, one will dominate and extinguish the other. The one we feed and nurture will grow strong, while the other will shrivel through neglect. What begins as merely a transient season of emotion can become a fixed viewpoint, always seeking reasons to take offense or to complain.
Paul chose to adopt an attitude of gratitude, looking always for the eternal perspective in his life rather than dwelling on the various temporary thorns and afflictions that beset us all.
Our culture today seems to be driven by discontentment. The Blame Game is becoming our national pastime. While a little discomfort with the status quo can be the impetus for improvement and growth, it is necessary to stop focusing on the problems and begin taking stock of the good that exists before we can imagine how to make things better.
We can choose to focus on the irritants and disappointments in life or we can look for the blessings in our very existence.
Paul was an exceptional man and an example to us all. He lived his life to point us to the ultimate example of the life well-lived, Jesus Christ.
I am a Christian who believes all the incredible, wonderful, amazing things God’s word tells me. I know I’ve been granted salvation by grace. How can I not choose to be grateful?