struggling with contentment

In the wee hours of the night, I sensed God peeling back another layer of this onion called my struggle of faith.  The personal revelation is that I have drifted into a state of discontentment.

Discontent is defined as a longing for something better than the present situation.

I’ll let Paul offer the Biblical definition of contentment …

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 2:9-10 (ESV)

And Paul expands upon his description …

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.  Philippians 4:11-13 (ESV)

Not only are we to content in all circumstances, we are also called to give thanks in ALL circumstances … for this is the will of God IN Christ Jesus for you and for me.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)

Note that with contentment comes great gain in godliness …

Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.  But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.  1 Timothy 6:6-8 (ESV)

But then that brings us to the outcome for the malcontenta person who is discontent … some very powerful words from the first sixteen verses of Jude chapter 1 … words that reveal the malcontent has characteristics of ungodliness and is driven by sinful desires.

Lest we forget … the predicament of mankind … and the work of Christ Jesus the will of God prompted … came about because Adam and Eve were not content with the perfect situation that God had placed them both in … their discontent prompted the acts of a malcontent and broke the trust … the faith relationship that existed between God, Adam and Eve before the forbidden fruit was eaten.

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’?”  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.'”  But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.  Genesis 3:1-6 (ESV)

And that so accurately reflects what I have been going thru … for the last few months I have not been content in all circumstances and I have certainly not been giving thanksgiving in all circumstances … which reveal glimpses of ungodliness and sinful desires in my life … and a broken faith.

But it is not a faith that is irreparable … Christ Jesus is the author and perfector of faith …  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

And for that I am beyond thankful Lord.

Lord willing, in the next week I will share how those seeds of discontent crept in my life … how I planted them.

Til then … may the Lord bless you and yours!

Bernie

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About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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4 Responses to struggling with contentment

  1. Dickbowley says:

    May The Lord Bless you and yours also Bernie!

  2. jimdavenport says:

    Bernie, we all have highs and lows. It is impossible, though highly desirable, to live on the mountain top all of the time. Sometimes we have to descend to the valleys to find our way back to the mountain. The scriptures you present in this article are right on. Our God is a great and mighty Father. He provides for ALL of our needs … not necessarily our desires. He knows us like no one else. He knows what we need. He can supply what we need. He cares about what we need. He has a plan for each of us … His plan … and not ours. He is ABLE! I am weak, BUT HE IS STRONG! Praise Him for who He is and how He loves me. Jim

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