The secret to contentment

Hatfield Church Blog

By Anati Bacela, Worship Office Administrator, extroverted introvert, people and fashion lover, mom of a super toddler, daughter of the Highest King …

After having spent way too much time on social media, seeing everyone’s seemingly perfectly exciting, productive, influential, adventurous lives of success, fairy-tale romance, world travels, advancing careers, car/property purchases, graduation after graduation, and so on … I really started to question what I was doing with my life.

Suddenly I felt stuck; like I had wasted (and was still wasting) my life doing ‘nothing’ while others are doing ‘real’ things with theirs. In short, I felt like a loser. I started to panic. I was losing time, missing out. This feeling suffocated me and made me want to try harder, but at the same time it made me want to give up because I had already fallen behind all my peers, or so it seemed. I started to wonder how my life would have been had I made different choices. Regret crept up on me about all the unwise decisions which had cost me time and effort I ‘could have used more productively’, as the enemy’s accusations pointed out. What had happened to the sharp, driven, competitive girl who had dedicated her entire being to being at the top of the heap? A gaping void of discontentment began to grow in my heart and I needed to fill it up fast!

While reading up on Eve, the first woman, ‘mother of all living’ and wife of Adam, the first man ever created, I stumbled upon a perspective I had never seen before. She had it all but suffered from discontentment after the serpent pointed out the one thing she did not have. The discontentment in her heart left her vulnerable to the serpent’s deceit. Genesis 3:6 (NLT) says, ‘The woman was convinced, she saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her, she took some and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband …’ She wanted more than the portion God had given them and that led to the downfall of humanity.

In my moment of discontentment I forgot that the same life I was now dissatisfied with was the same life I had sobbed and prayed my heart out to God for during the dark days of my life when I was lost and without hope for the future. How quickly the devil pointed out the few things I do not have in an attempt to distract me from seeing just how far God has taken me in my walk with Him. He was blinding me from seeing the path God is leading me toward, as well as all the blessings He has been showering me with so lovingly every day of my life. Beginning with the very breath in my lungs, to the eyesight to enjoy the beauty He, my Father in heaven, created by the power of His words … The same power I have undeservingly inherited through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the lover of my soul, on the cross by His tender grace and mercy.

Discontentment is defined as ‘the condition of being dissatisfied with one’s life or situation.’ It is a thief that comes to steal joy, peace of mind, clear vision for your God-given path, passion, drive – and worst of all – trust in the Lord. It tells you that there is more that God is keeping from you, and that you have to go get it yourself.

Sadly, the thing about going out of God’s will to get something is that you have to stay out of God’s will to keep it.

Discontentment discourages you and blinds you from seeing your life for what it truly is – clay in the Potter’s hands, carefully getting moulded everyday into the masterpiece it was created to be. Only the Potter knows what the outcome will be.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT

James 4:7 (NIV) says, ‘Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’ His Word stands true and prevails against every lie of the enemy. If you trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding, if you submit to Him all your plans and desires, He will make your path straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).

I have to actively choose to resist the devil and all his pressures and accusations, and submit to God. He has already set His plan for my life into motion and nothing I do or don’t have has any power to derail His divine plan. I know that He doesn’t call the qualified – He qualifies the called. Only my own disobedience could delay me. As long as I surrender all I am and have to my creator, redeemer, saviour and friend, success and prosperity are mine – not by my own strength and doing but by the power of His Holy Spirit living inside of me for His glory and the advancement of His Kingdom. That is my destiny. Nothing and no one can separate me from it. For He knows the plans He has for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

I also know that as much as I am passionately loved and pursued by the God of the universe, I am passionately hated and feared by His enemy. The enemy will stop at nothing to try and distract me from the purpose for which I was created. For this purpose I am continually being transformed, prepared and strengthened by my loving Father in heaven. This is why I cannot afford to waste another minute worrying about my haves and have nots. I am called to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to me (Matthew 6:33).

The secret to contentment:

‘I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.’

Philippians 4:12-13 NIV

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