Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Ladies, I know we often struggle with contentment--contentment in hard circumstances, contentment with our kids, contentment with material blessings, contentment with our bodies, contentment with our spouse. I was sinning in this area a few days back. I was pouting about the injustice of some circumstance out of my control. How is it that some of my friends never have to deal with this particular thorn in the flesh? Hmph. Well, almost as soon as the grumbly thoughts began, the Holy Spirit quickly thumped me over the head with some spiritual truths He brought to my mind.
First of all, do we really want God to be fair? He is just, but He isn't fair. He knows what we need to glorify Him best and to be sanctified. Who am I to question what circumstances God allows in my life? Romans 9:20 tells us, "But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, 'Why have you made me like this?'"
If I really want Him to be fair, why am I not complaining about the unfairness in the areas I have been given much more than others? Why am I not griping to Him about giving me too many material blessings or giving me too much support in family and my godly spouse? Others aren't as fortunate as me. Why am I not pouting about the amazing church He has put in my life and the fact I have an inordinate amount of godly resources and people in my life? What injustice there lies in the fact that I am healthy while others are sick, that I have intelligent kids while other kids have learning disabilities, that my family is filled with believers while others witness continually to lost family members, that my husband has a job and others are searching for jobs for months or years, that we just bought a house while others are losing theirs, that I live in Orange County and other people live in slums, and that I have access to the Bible without repurcussions from my government while others are imprisoned or die for their faith. Other people don't have as much as I do in these areas. You see, I don't want fairness. I want an unfair advantage. My flesh wants to glorify myself instead of Him. Yuck.
Job is a good book of the Bible to study contentment. Job 1:21 tells us that Job professes, "And he said, "Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." This comes from his mouth after he loses his children, home, livelihood and wealth all in one day. Imagine losing your kids in a car accident, watching your house burn to ashes in a fire and being let go from your job all in one 24 hour period. Would your first reaction be godly--to even bless God in your pain? It should be.
You see, we have a temporal perspective instead of an eternal one. Ladies, we are meant for a different world. This is not our home. Our temporal circumstances don't define us because, if we are followers of Christ, they don't affect our eternal salvation. Matthew 6:20 encourages us to "lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal."
We have decaying bodies, a fallen world, sinful husbands and kids, and selfish people all around us. Yet God has chosen to pluck us out of our enmity with Him, give us hearts of flesh and place us in Christ! Through Jesus, we have access to God in prayer at any time, we are forgiven of our sin, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us and leading us in God's will, and we have an eternity of beauty and joy in Christ's presence in Heaven awaiting us. These are eternal ramifications that will outlast the imperfect husband, the hyper child, the dwindling bank account, the recurring disease, the overweight pounds, the tedious job or the painful sin of others that we face daily.
When life is difficult, invest all the more heartily in your eternal bank account. Remember two important truths when discontentment seeps into your heart. God is sovereign and allows circumstances for a purpose in those He loves. This world is temporal and our pains are light compared to the weight of the glory and joy we will experience in Heaven--for all eternity. With these scriptural truths meditating in our minds, we can more easily be like Paul when he proclaims, "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