General,  Spiritual Growth,  Test,  Trial

7 Things to Do When Facing Times of Discontentment

OK, I hadn’t planned on any more posts on this topic, but you know how it is…God seems to always test me on what I’m teaching and claim to believe. Shouldn’t come as a surprise. That’s what happened right after I spoke on this topic at a church and after I completed this series. If you missed it you can read that series here: part 1part 2part 3 and Part 4.

The day after I spoke on this topic, I can’t even remember why, but I experienced  discontentment. My thoughts were…”what’s up with this?” and I felt as though God said, “Where is YOUR contentment?” It was a moment to prove what I said I believed about God and His goodness no matter what.

But this past week has been especially tough…having sat beside one of our church staff leaders on a Wednesday night, I found out early the next day that he had died overnight.  Our meeting the night before was different from the rest I’d attended on this team for the last 18 months. It just seemed special as our lay members shared how much we love the staff and asked how we could support them in their work.

Since I am always late to this meeting due to a life group I attend, I try to sneak in and sit at the nearest chair. This week the only one left was at the opposite end of the table right by this man as was he was speaking. This was the first and only time that I’d sat right beside this particular staff member.

Not knowing him well, I’d watched him lead our team month after month with such wisdom, knowledge, and humility. And for the first and only time, I thought to myself how blessed we were to have him on our church staff. He was our administrative (and financial) pastor and ran so much of our church ministries. He knew his stuff!

After losing our beloved pastor 4 years ago, and asking “why?” many times, that was my first thought again that morning. “God, why?” In the midst of great growth for our church, why now? Over the last 3 years, we’ve had the privilege of watching God work through our new pastor and his staff to take our church to places we’d never been. I don’t have to ever know the “why” but I am blessed to see God’s hand in the middle of the “why?”.

On Monday we buried this administrative pastor and my heart has been so heavy for his family and our staff, who were so close to him. Then we had a number of family emergencies including ER visits and hospitalizations, as well as other concerns. Add to that various very difficult and some even life threatening situations with others on my prayer list.

By Tuesday, I was in a huge funk that I really couldn’t even put my finger on. The next morning in my quiet time, I felt as though God said once again, “Do you really believe this contentment thing? Can you truly lay these things down at my feet and trust me with each one?” My spirits lifted as I said honestly, “Yes…Lord you are fully trustworthy in every one of these heart concerns”.

Now, does this mean I’m completely at peace in each one? That I don’t grieve losses and empathize with pain in the lives of those I love? Of course not, but I am seeking to let those concerns drive me to Him. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 and 18 reminds us: We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

Photo by Ron Smith on Unsplash

Do you see that word, “hope” here? Whether we are grieving the loss of a life, a job, your health, a relationship, or anything else…we, as followers of Christ, do NOT grieve without hope. Do you believe that?

Next time God tests on your contentment level try these 7 things:

  1. Ask, “Do I really believe God is good?”
  2. Share your prayer concerns with others so that as a body we are all lifting one another up.
  3. Lay your concern at His feet and trust Him with it.
  4. Ask “why“, but allow God to answer or not, and still trust Him.
  5. Pray for him to help you in your unbelief just as the father of the demon possessed son did in Mark 9:24.
  6. Rejoice that God IS good, faithful and true.
  7. Tell others about it! I did…in this post!

Sharing what God teaches us is so powerful and solidifies what we believe about my Lord!

Banner photo by Riccardo Mion on Unsplash

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