This morning during my prayer walk, after a particularly whiny session of pleading with the Lord, I was inspired to ask forgiveness for my discontent. I was reminded of Paul’s words in Philippians 4, that he had found “the secret of being content in any and every situation,” and also his advice to the Thessalonians to give thanks in all circumstances.
I end my every prayer with “thy will be done,” and believe that is the prayer that never fails.
Since I believe God hears and answers prayer, that he is a loving God who wants what is eternally best for me, that everything he allows in my life is for my good and his glory and contains both lessons and blessings for me, how can I be discontent? Like Paul I can and should choose to be content in every situation.
Paul found the strength of will to be content in the harshest circumstances by accepting that it was God’s will and being grateful for whatever God allowed in his life.
The one we feed and nurture will grow strong. The other will shrivel through neglect. What begins as merely a transient season of emotion becomes a fixed viewpoint.
Paul chose to build up an attitude of gratitude, looking always for the eternal perspective in his life rather than dwelling on the various thorns and afflictions that beset us all.
Our culture today seems to be driven by discontent. The Blame Game is becoming our national pastime. While a little discomfort with the status quo can be the impetus for improvement and growth, it is necessary to stop focusing on the problems and begin taking stock of the good that exists before we can imagine how to make it better.
We can focus on the irritants and disappointments in life or look for the blessings in our very existence.
Paul was an exceptional man and an example to us all, but he lived his life to point us to the ultimate example of the life well-lived, Jesus Christ.