When I think of someone who struggles with discontentment, I think of that person in my life who complains about everything? Nothing seems to please them and they see the world in a glass half empty kind of way? Just being around that person can suck the joy out of life.
But discontentment stretches beyond someone who complains. It also describes someone who has a restless desire for something they do not have and those matters are often hidden deep in their heart. Maybe they long for their body to look differently. Maybe they long for a better marriage. Maybe they long for a better boss or a better job. Maybe they long to feel appreciated and accepted.
Whatever it may be, they aren't content with the way things are. Therefore they struggle to live in the present because they are either longing for the way things were or longing for things to be a certain way in the future. They argue that if things were different, then they would be able to find contentment.
Friends, discontentment HARBORS things and contentment UNLOCKS things. When we continue to be dissatisfied with our lives, we leave the door open for satan to infect us with things like fear, anxiety, worry, unforgiveness, and bitterness. Whereas when we CHOOSE to be content in "all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18) (and it is a choice) we open the door to allow GOD to bring joy, hope, peace, faith, trust, and forgiveness into our lives.
Matthew 6:25-26 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your heavenly Father feed them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
I don't know about you but being content in all circumstances seems like a pretty tall order. How can we switch our focus? PRAISE. When you praise God and thank Him despite of what you are going through, something shifts inside of you. You can remain negative and praise the LORD at the same time.
No matter what each day brings, we have a choice: we can focus on how hard things are and how we wish they were different leaving us filled with anxiety and despair. OR we can focus on who God is and what He promises us because regardless of our circumstances, our God doesn't change. He is who He say He is and He will do what He says He will do.
What if we took a radical approach in our prayer life when we are faced with a difficult situations. Instead of complaining about all the parts we wish God would change. What if we asked God what He wanted to teach us in our situation? What if God has something for us to learn or way for us to grow closer to Him? What if this is an opportunity for us to grow our faith and trust in Him?
I challenge you with whatever you are facing today, to surrender it to the LORD
Further Reading: Dwarfed by Discontentment by Vickie Kraft https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-15-dwarfed-discontentment