This is a space that can be all too familiar for many.
Whether it is a place of suffering, or a trial, or bored with the regular routine of life, there is always a chance to grow a deep root of discontentment with any space we are in.
No matter what amazing blessings the Lord has given, sin is what causes us all to water the weed to produce a discontent, grumbling, ungrateful heart.
How can we possibly grow discontent when there are so many good things to bandaid that pain? But, it’s deeper than earthly things.
Paul had to learn to be content (Philippians 4). It’s a learned process for us, too.
“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.”
and what is that secret?
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Proverbs 3:5 can guide us in this, also:
“Trust in the Lord with all our heart”
(He is sovereign and works all things for good, He put me in this space for good)
“and lean not on your own understanding”
(this trial/season of life/suffering I understand is uncomfortable but I’m not going to get caught in it and let it dictate my life because I trust that God is sovereign).
Finally, thanksgiving is a weapon to slay discontent from the root.
Praise and grumbling cannot come out of the mouth at the same time. David knew that praise must continue to come out of his mouth.
“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Even if the hardest of trials and the darkness depressions temporarily blind us to not be able to find see the simplest of joys, we can always be grateful in the greatest gift that will never be taken away from us: the work of Christ, our Salvation.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
Take heart, though, even a state of discontent can be used for good. To grow in something, we have to see and acknowledge the very thing from which growth is needed. Discontent with the state of your heart or lack of growth can move us to a new, healthy place in life.
A humble, thankful, listening heart is healthy soil for the seeds to germinate and plants to bear good fruit.
Lord, expose my heart and make me clean, it’s your approval I long for.