Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Heart at Peace: An Equation for True Contentment

Envy. Discontent. Jealousy. 

"Is God really enough?"
"Is He truly giving me all I need?"
"Why are so many other people better off than me?"
"Does He love them more?"
"Don't I deserve ________, too?"

As humans it's not uncommon to doubt the goodness and justice of a God we cannot see, especially when we witness people who aren't following Him prospering.
Satan makes us question if God is really enough, if He is truly giving us all we need. And when he fills our minds with these doubts, discontentment and envy enter. 

Yet when God does bless us with a new friend, a nice pair of shoes, or a "new" car, we still aren't satisfied. That hunger for more, for better, for something newer is whetted even more.

Proverbs 14:30

30 A heart at peace gives life to the body,
    but envy rots the bones.

True contentment -- that ever elusive holy grail we're all searching for -- will never be found in a Facebook page with 5,000 likes or a brand new pair of UGGs. 

True contentment cannot come from any selfish earthly pursuit or material possession.

No, true contentment only comes when we are actively doing God's will for us and humbly pursuing Him as diligently as we pursue those earthly, material things.

How do we attain contentment that brings peace? 

Let's look at Psalm 131 for insight and understanding.

Psalm 131

A song of ascents. Of David.

My heart is not proud, Lord,
    my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
    or things too wonderful for me.
But I have calmed and quieted myself,
    I am like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child I am content.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord
    both now and forevermore.

1. Quiet trust in the Lord

David trusted that God would provide everything he needed. He didn't aspire to great riches nor was he restless for more than God had already granted

We must trust that the Lord will provide exactly what we need, when we need it. Like a baby, we may clamor for more "milk," but as our souls are sanctified, that rooting will eventually cease. Then, we will become content with whatever the Lord supplies.

Philippians 4:19

19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

2. Humility

Pride makes us restless, insecure, constantly discontent. It keeps us striving for more so others will be impressed. Pride is about me. It's hungering for more attention and praise from the world. But humility is about others. It's putting other people first and giving God full rei[g]n in leading our lives. 

When we humble ourselves and let God be our primary source of joy, we'll stop trying to prove ourselves to others. Our worth to the outside world will no longer matter. We will find freedom to live out God's will for us to His glory, not our own.

James 4:10

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

3. Pursuit of God's will

God has a purpose for each of us. We can choose either to ignore or deny His will, or we can accept His will and faithfully carry it out. God doesn't force us into submission; we make that choice each day as we humble ourselves and offer our lives as a living sacrifice to Him.

Romans 12:1-2

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

True Contentment = Quiet Trust in the Lord + Humility + Pursuit of His Will

Are you struggling with personal dissatisfaction or discontent? Are you buying Satan's lies? Stop. Humble yourself before the Lord, seek His will for your life, and trust that He is good and will provide even more abundantly than you could ever imagine. Only then will you find true contentment. Only then will you have lasting peace.

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  1. Such great truths! True contentment leads to such peace and happiness. I struggle at time, but man it is so much better when I humbly follow Him and just trust and focus on His plan for my life. Comparison is so easy and so harmful. You are right, if I'm not content with what I have now I won't be content with what I'm given later.

    1. If only equations were so simple for us to follow. I can see what I need to do, what God is calling me to do, so easily, but my will, my desire, my heart, my...my...my... so often gets in the way. The comparison trap is deadly for sure!

  2. Wow Keri this is beautiful! I just posted something today on this topic ~ so your title caught my eye. Love how you wrote this! Mine is at: http://www.youaretheoneiwant.com/2013/11/19/soul-hunger-can-we-ever-be-satisfied/

  3. Thanks, Summer. I appreciated your post, too. I know that soul hunger all too well!