Discontentment

I am the youngest of four children. This means two things:

1) I like being the center of attention, and 2) I had the opportunity to see everything that was ahead of me. As in– my siblings got to experience all of life’s joys, privileges, and excitements before I got to.

And it all inevitably looked more exciting than what I was presently doing or experiencing.

When I wasn’t in school yet, I couldn’t wait to go to kindergarten.

When I was in elementary school, I couldn’t wait for junior high.

(Speaking of junior high,I remember even being very anxious in junior high to get my first period! I just couldn’t wait. I am not sure what I thought was going to be so special about it. When I was on the other end of the spectrum, I couldn’t wait until I was done with it.)

Then high school.

Getting my driver’s license.

Graduating from high school.

Going to college.

Does any of this sound familiar??

My list of “when life will really be good, and fulfilling, and wonderful” continued….

When I meet the right guy

When we get married

When we have kids

When we figure out what career for my husband to pursue

(which took awhile….. we went through several possibilities before landing on the final one)

when we get out of school and training

when we are done having children (which also took a lot longer than we had thought it would)

when the kids are all potty trained

when the kids are all in school

when we own a house

when we are making x number of $

when we have a bigger (or better in some way) house

when I lose 5/10/15/ more pounds

when life slows down and I have more free time

when my child is over this difficult phase

when my husband is over this difficult phase

When I’m over this difficult phase!

when the kids are all out of the house

when we have grandkids

when we retire

Anybody else experience this? Or is it just me?

The temptation is always to look ahead.

Maybe your list looks a little different, but most all of us tend to do it.

“When this happens______________…..then things will be better.”

Or “when this problem resolves….then everything will be all right, and I will be happy.”

We are not content with what we have; we are worried that we are never going to get what we want (perfect house, perfect kids, perfect job, perfect spouse, perfect stress-free life).

Or maybe we don’t want perfect—we realize that’s not going to happen. We aren’t greedy, after all.

We just want a little bit better.

———

What is the underlying attitude in all this?

“God is holding out on me. Or, if not perhaps holding out, making me wait for the things that I want. Certainly far longer than I should have to wait.”

It can be subtle—we may not even consciously realize that we are thinking and acting as if “if I can just get past all this muck and mess then things will be okay.” Or maybe it’s under cover of altruism: “If I can just get past this particular thing, I know I could do great things for God….”

We generally think that our discontent could be solved by a change in circumstances; however, discontent can arise even in the most perfect of circumstances.

Take Adam and Eve, for example. They were in the most idyllic circumstances possible.

—They were in close, unmarred relationship with God.

—They were in perfect, sinless relationship with each other

—They had meaningful, fulfilling work without the frustration of sin

—They didn’t have any children yet.

Or annoying neighbors.

Or irritating co-workers.

And still—Satan was able to stir up discontentment.

How did this happen?

Let’s look at Genesis 3.

Genesis 3: 1 : Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

He casts doubt about what God said. “Did God actually say that??!!”

(v. 2): And the woman said to the serpent “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

Eve either misremembers or misconstrues what God’s instructions, and she makes it sound more restrictive than it actually was. “Neither shall you touch it….

Satan takes Eve’s mischaracterization of what God said, pounces on it, and makes her think that she is missing out. (This is, by the way, the original, first FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out.)

The father of lies spins this out for Eve (v.4): But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

He tells them these lies: God is holding out on you. He doesn’t want what’s best for you. You need to look out for yourself, because He certainly isn’t. . He doesn’t have your best interests at heart at all, but instead is withholding something wonderful from you, for whatever (probably ridiculous) reason.

God doesn’t know. And worse, He probably doesn’t even care. Because if he did, he would be fixing this situation.

These are the lies that Adam and Eve listened to, and believed. And note: they believed them because they didn’t attend carefully to what God had actually said, as well as not taking into consideration their real-life experience of God and his care for them.

Let’s look at another example of people in Scripture who were discontent: the children of Israel.

In Exodus 2: 23-25, it says: During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.

God saw them. God knew them. He cared about them, and had a plan for their rescue, and for their good.

God puts his plan into motion. He sends Moses and his brother Aaron, and executes a mighty deliverance for his people—through plagues, through the Red Sea, through many mighty works. He even sends them out from their slave-masters with silver and gold and clothing—great plunder.

He brings them out of a dire situation, and shows his ability to care for them.

So they trusted him and believed in him in every situation from there on out. The End.

Unfortunately, no. That was not how it went.

In Exodus 16, we see just two months after they had left Egypt, this (v 2-3) : and the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

Yikes. That’s some heavy duty grumbling and discontentment.

But in spite of that, God still provides for them. V. 9-12: Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the LORD, for he has heard your grumbling.’” And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. And the LORD said to Moses, “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’”

So God gave them quail, and he gave them manna.

And they were satisfied and content. Yes??

No.

If you continue to read through Exodus, you see that the people continued to grumble about things and be discontent: no water. Tired of manna. Tired of the quail.

Number 11:4 ff : And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”

They misremember the past—“Remember who great it was back in Egypt?? All that food—for free! It was so wonderful. And now all we have is this old manna.” They mischaracterize God’s goodness in providing for them, as being somehow inferior to what they had before—when they were slaves, by the way.

What about us? Can you think of something, some circumstance with which you are discontent? Are there things in your life that you feel like God either doesn’t care about, is asleep on the job, or is just plain getting it wrong?

“If God is so good, then why isn’t he fixing this?”

——-

Paige Benton Brown wrote an article on singleness and God’s goodness, called Singled Out for Good. Although she is addressing the topic of being unmarried and dissatisfied, I believe it can apply to all of us. If singleness is not your issue, substitute your issue for hers.

Listen to what she says:

Can God be any less good to me on the average Tuesday morning than he was on that monumental Friday afternoon when he hung on a cross in my place? The answer is a resounding no. God will not be less good to me tomorrow either, because God cannot be less good to me. His goodness is not the effect of his disposition but the essence of his person—not an attitude but an attribute. I long to be married. My younger sister got married two months ago. She now has an adoring husband, a beautiful home, a whirlpool bathtub, and all-new Corning ware. Is God being any less good to me than he is to her? The answer is a resounding no. God will not be less good to me because God cannot be less good to me. It is a cosmic impossibility for God to shortchange any of his children.

God can no more live in me apart from the perfect fullness of his goodness and grace than I can live in Nashville and not be white. If he fluctuated one quark in his goodness he would cease to be God.

Accepting singleness [ my edit: or whatever your situation is], whether temporary or permanent, does not hinge on speculation about answers God has not given to our list of whys, but rather on celebration of the life he has given. I am not single because I am too spiritually unstable to possibly deserve a husband, nor because I am too spiritually mature to possibly need one. I am single because God is so abundantly good to me, because this is his best for me. It is a cosmic impossibility that anything could be better for me right now than being single. The psalmists confirm that I should not want, I shall not want, because no good thing will God withhold from me.

———

We are often just as discontent as people who have gone before us.   But we don’t have to stay there, and dwell in discontent. In the book of Philippians, Paul lays out a way, a plan for when we find ourselves creeping toward, or just plain plopping down in, discontent.

Let’s start in chapter one.

Phil. 1:21-26 : For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.

Paul confesses that he would rather die and be with Christ. He even says that that would be “far better”. And yet, he is content to live, and bring fruitful labor to his Lord at present, because that is what God has for him right now. He is releasing his desire for what he thinks is better, and resting in contentment for what God has for him, knowing that God knows best. As Paige Brown said—it is impossible for God to shortchange his children, or be less than good to us at any time. We can rest in his goodness, and in the circumstances in which he has placed us.

In chapter 2, he fleshes out a bit more of what this involves—humility. V. 3-4: Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interest of others. [ And then he goes on to that beautiful exposition of Christ’s humility] Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Humility is key to being content. If you think of yourself and your desires as less important than those around you, there will less of an impulse to compare yourself with them, and to be jealous of what they have, their situations, etc., which leads to a discontent with your own situation. Comparison is the thing that will most get us into trouble, if we are trying to be content. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Even Peter had a problem with this. Peter, who was what we would probably call “a big deal” in Jesus’ circle. He was one of the three closest friends Christ had; he was a leader among the disciples. Peter, tempted to be discontent? We see it in John 21.

V 15 ff : When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”

 And then, after this three times of affirming his love for Christ, and being charged with his mission what Jesus wants him to do, Jesus says to him (v. 18-19): Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

So Jesus forgives him for his three denials, and then he tells him, you’re going to be blinded and then you’re going to die for me.

“I forgive you.

Feed my sheep.

You’re going to go blind and then die.”

That’s an encouraging word, huh?

V. 20 ff: Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” [John, who is writing this narrative for us] when Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”

According to historical tradition, Peter ended his life in prison, and was crucified upside down during the reign of Nero. John was exiled to the island of Patmos, where he wrote the Revelation, and then later was released and went to Ephesus, where he likely lived the rest of his life. He is the only apostle that died a natural death.

Two apostles—both loved dearly by the Lord.

But Christ had two very different roads for them to take, in their service to him.

Jesus is quite adamant about comparing our paths to others. “What is that to you? You follow me!” Whenever we feel our eyes being turned to someone or something else, when we want to compare our lot in life to someone else’s, we need to remind ourselves of the Savior’s words: “What is that to you? You Follow Me.”

Back to Philippians 3 (v 8ff): Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

Paul admits he isn’t perfect in this. But he presses on, not because he has to attain this by his striving, but because he belongs to Jesus, and Jesus says, “Don’t worry about what the path is for others. You Follow Me.”

——-

Okay. Easy. Just be content. Right?

We all know it’s not just as easy as saying, “Okay! I am going to be content now!” Willing ourselves to change or be different is not how we actually change and grow.

We change and grow by setting our minds and our hearts on God’s words, and asking him for his help to change.

In Philippians 4, Paul gives us some practical ways to do this.

Phil. 4:9– Practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Practice what things?

Let’s go back in the chapter to see what he is referring to.

  1. 4: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

When we rejoice in the Lord, we are praising him. We are taking our joy in Him, and in him alone. Our joy and our peace are not found in our circumstances, but in Him. Hebrews 13:15 says, “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

Have you ever thought about what the phrase “offering up a sacrifice of praise” means? I think part of what it means that it is not always easy to praise God. A sacrifice costs something, right? Otherwise, it wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice. When we offer up a sacrifice of praise, it costs us: our pride, our desire to be in control, our yearning for comfort, our ache for approval. Sometimes we just don’t want to. Sometimes we think we don’t have much to praise him for. But God wants us to refocus on what is really the most important—and that is him. His character, his holiness, his steadfast love for us….as we think about these things, and realize how praiseworthy he is, then we offer up our sacrifice of praise. And as we offer up that sacrifice, it shifts our focus back to God, and helps us to remember that even when we find ourselves in situations we are not happy with at all, that our God is sovereign and loving and in control of it all.

  1. 5 —The Lord is at hand.

We need to remember that! The Lord is “at hand”. Not far away up in heaven somewhere; he is “at hand”. Near to us. By us. With us. Emmanuel means “God with us”. He came in human flesh to be with us; he is still with us. The Holy Spirit lives and breathes and resides in us. He upholds us by his strong right arm.

  1. 6 says that because the Lord is with us, we need not be anxious, but instead “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

We are to pray and talk to God, let him know about our troubles and our concerns—with thanksgiving. The thanksgiving part enables us to remember God’s character and his faithfulness to us. And that leads to v. 7—“the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” We are to thank God, and then lay our requests out to him; and his peace will guard our hearts and minds.

So, we practice: Rejoicing : that God is with us, and for us

Thankfulness: for all the blessings, great and small, that he has provided

Prayer: telling him our concerns, our sorrows, our hopes—and releasing them to Him in his goodness and wisdom.

  1. 8— “Finally, brothers/sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

We think about and ponder and meditate on these things, as we go about our daily work—things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, praiseworthy ; these are the things that we focus on. The attributes of God. The blessings that he has given us. The things he has done in the past. The promises that he has made—that he will be with us, that he will never leave us or forsake us.

That leads Paul to talk of how he can be content. (V. 11) “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

That last verse is often quoted in a kind of triumphal or a“power of positive thinking” kind of way. But notice the context. It’s not “there’s no stopping me from achieving my goals and dreams, because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Instead, it’s in the framework of being content. Paul is saying: I can be content in any circumstance, good or bad, wealthy or poor, sick or healthy, hungry or satisfied——because of Christ and his power. He is the one who gives me the strength I need to be content. He is the one who enables me in all situations to do what he has called me to do. And therefore I can rest in him.

To fight discontentment, we must practice thankfulness for the circumstances in which God has placed us, knowing it is for our good and his glory. Thankfulness is what will lead to peace and contentment.

Practicing isn’t always easy. When I was a child, I loved playing the piano. I started messing around on it when I was four years old, and my mom quickly got me into lessons, so that I wouldn’t pick up bad habits. I loved the piano—but I did not like practicing. It was hard. But, as I practiced, my fingers got more used to what they were supposed to do, and it became more of a natural, automatic way to moving my hands around the keyboard, and my playing was smoother (and easier on the ears of those around me).

As we practice thankfulness, it becomes easier, and more natural, a more automatic response to whatever God brings into our lives. We have been flexing and strengthening our “thankfulness” muscles, which allow us to more readily be satisfied and content.

———

About 3 1/2 years ago, my husband was unexpectedly fired from his job. While there were things about this job that made it difficult, it was one that he stuck with, because we had deep roots in our community and our church, as well as a lot of family in the area, and we really did not want to give those up (there were no other job openings in his field in our town at this time). So he persevered in it.

Until he was fired, without cause and without warning.

We were honestly dumbfounded. He was given a 90 day notice, per his contract, and we started the difficult work of trying to find a new position The market was quite tight, and jobs in his field were scarce.

We were praying hard for a job.

One day, while I was praying, I heard God say to me (not in an audible voice—I’m a Presbyterian, after all), “Thank Me for it.”

And I said, “….What?!!”

(Again, not audibly.)

“Thank me for Marc getting fired.”

Wow.

I had to think about that for a while. Was I really being asked by God to thank him for this even that had totally rocked our world? We had been in Nebraska nearly our entire lives. Our families were here. Our friends were here. We were honestly planning on retiring there, in spite of the schizophrenic weather patterns.

“You want me to thank You for upending all of that??”

The answer was YES.

So…I did. I prayed, “God I don’t know why this is happening. I certainly know it was NOT my plan. And I don’t see how good is going to come out of it,. But I do know that You are good. I know that You love us. I know that You are taking care of us and have us in your hands—even when it just looks like the rug has been pulled out from under our feet.

Thank you, God, for Marc getting fired.”

As the weeks went on, I continued to pray that prayer. Thank you, God, for Marc getting fired. And as I prayed and continued to thank God for this event that I really didn’t want to happen, I started to see other things to be thankful for, within the situation. I started to realize that while I couldn’t see the entire scope of what was good about this situation, or how God was going to work in and through us, or how that was going to happen in a different place than we had hoped, through a different job than we had thought, in and through people we hadn’t even met yet—I could be content, and rest in whatever the future held for us. Because I knew God was good. God was faithful. God was everlastingly loving and kind. And that God would always, always be with us.

——–

The Psalms are so great at giving us examples of how to pray, how to connect with God, how to process through things. Psalm 77 shows us a template of how to deal with a situation with which you are anguishing over. The title of the Psalm in my Bible is “In the Day of Trouble I Seek the Lord”. Already that’s wonderful—what should I do when I am having trouble and trials and discontentment? “I seek the Lord”.

In verses 1-4 Asaph, the Psalmist, is crying out to God.

I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me.

In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted.

When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints.

You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

He is upset; he is worried; he is unhappy with his circumstances and his situation; he has insomnia about the whole thing.

In verses 5-9, he meditates on and seeks out God’s truth.

I consider the days of old, the years long ago.

I said, “Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.”

Then my spirit made a diligent search:

“Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable?

Has his steadfast love forever ceased?

Are his promises at an end for all time?

Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?”
He asks—what is God’s character? How has he been in the past? Will he be faithful?

Then in verses 10-20, he remembers the work and wonder of the Lord.

Then I said, “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”

I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.

I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.

Your way, O God is holy.

What God is great like our God?

You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples.

You with your arm redeemed your people ,the children of Jacob and Joseph.

When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid;

indeed, the deep trembled.

The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; your arrows flashed on every side.

The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightning lighted up the world;

the earth trembled and shook.

Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters;

yet your footprints were unseen.

You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

He is praising God and thanking him for his character, and his mighty deeds.

This is our template.

Talk to God for your situation and what you are discontent with. Go ahead and tell him what you’re discontent with; it’s okay, he already knows! The key is to continue to talk to him through all things, the good, the bad, the things that seem like they will never end. Keep talking to him—it’s when we stop talking to him that we veer into trouble. Job had a ton of things to be discontent about. He complained and lamented, and it was okay—because he was continuing to be in the conversation. He kept talking to God, and listening to him. So pour out your heart to him. Then, meditate and think about the truth of who God is, what his character is like. And then—thank him for it. Notice that Asaph spends twice as long thanking and praising God, as he does talking about his problem. Thank him for all the other things that are blessings , but that you are overlooking, because you are so focused on the things that you are dissatisfied with. Thank him for those things. And then rest in him.

Any time you feel restless or discontent, thank him for the specifics of your situation. Thank him that he is a good God, all the time, and worthy of your praise. Think on the true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy-of-praise- things in your life. Practice thankfulness and gratitude for God’s salvation, his goodness to you, and the fact that he knows what he is doing with your life, right here and now. No detail has escaped his notice, and no detail is out of his control or knowledge.

God is never blindsided by what happens; he is fully good and fully just and fully sovereign. That’s the Father that you have. That’s the Father that you can trust and depend on to be working all things together for good—even in seemingly less than ideal circumstances.

Each day is a gift. We receive it with humbleness. You don’t deserve it; I don’t deserve it; but God gives it to us anyway. It may not be exactly as you put on your wish list, but it is exactly what you need.

Thank him for it all. And then, as Paul says, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

—————————-

Questions to consider:

 

1/ Paige Benton Brown wrote : “Can God be any less good to me on the average Tuesday morning than he was on that monumental Friday afternoon when he hung on a cross in my place? The answer is a resounding no. God will not be less good to me tomorrow either, because God cannot be less good to me. His goodness is not the effect of his disposition but the essence of his person—not an attitude but an attribute.”.

How does thinking about God’s goodness in this way affect the way you view your life and circumstances?

2/ Does it seem counterintuitive ( or maybe even stupid) to thank God for things with which you are dissatisfied? What do you think the point of it is?

3/ When do you find it most difficult to be content?

4/ Tim Keller: “Worry is thinking that God isn’t going to get it right. Bitterness is believing that God got it wrong.”

Discontentment is a stepping-stone on the way to bitterness. In what ways do we feed discontent in our personal lives? in our homes? in the church? With our friends and co-workers? In what ways could we encourage one another to be content?

Take away thoughts:

Examine your thoughts, and the words you say.

See if there are seeds (or full grown weeds!) of discontentment in your life.

Pray to the Spirit about it.

Meditate on verses from Scripture about contentment, joy in daily life with God, and peaceful rest in whatever circumstances he puts us.

Encourage one another in living lives of contentment.

 

Reference verses:

James 1:2-4                                                 Psalm 90:14-15

Philippians 4:4-13                                     Genesis 3: 1-4

I Peter 1:6-7                                                 Exodus 2: 23-25

James 4:13-15                                               Exodus 16

Psalm 145                                                      Numbers 11

Psalm 34:8-10                                              John 21:15-20

Romans 8:31-32                                          Isaiah 25:6-9

Psalm 23                                                       Psalm 77

Acts 17:24-28                                              Psalm 73

Phil. 1: 21-26                                                I Timothy 6: 6-8

Hebrews 13:5-6                                           Romans 8:35-38

 

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