My Travels Toward Contentment

Back in Chile, we are! Back home, back in the southern hemisphere. We are back in the place where God has called us.

Since arriving in Chile back in January we’ve found ourselves reflecting the needs of the moment that abound in this culture and society. Chile is predominantly Roman Catholic. It is a western culture and her people largely live for the moment. Chileans enjoy the present. Life is about what today offers…about the immediate.

I too love to enjoy the present. But not at the expense of the future. My focus is to look at what God is teaching me now, in light of what He wants me to learn for tomorrow.

One example is the matter of being contented with where I am in life. As I rode my bike today for my weekly trek I was praying for God to touch the hearts of the unsaved people I know…as I prayed for myself too. Then the thought came to mind: what God often uses to bring people to himself is their own feelings of discontentment with life. Just yesterday a young woman that Ruth Ann is discipling told us that for years she had a feeling that she needed to find out more about God but was afraid to do so. Suddenly cancer brought her to life to a halt, and following the surgery she began to sense that her life was missing something. A sense of inner discontent opened her eyes to her lack of a relationship with the God she never knew.

However for me as a child of God, one of the great privileges I have is to know that my Heavenly Father cars for me and that He is fully attuned to my needs. He is the “giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17).” He is the source of our satisfaction. In the Person of our Living God and Creator we find rest, joy and contentedness.

When you think about that truth, expressed for instance by Paul when he clearly affirms “..for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Phil. 4:11b), you can see that our travels through life are designed, in part, to teach us to learn to be content. The thing is, we are not untouched by our surroundings, we cannot disconnect from our reality. These things tend to pull us down and create discontentment. If you and I are honest, when we are discontented, it is much easier to “turn our eyes”…not upon Jesus, but upon the world, its pleasures and its toys.

I am thankful for a God who patiently teaches us to rest on Him. Sometimes He does it through need. Sometimes he does so through hurt in our dearest relationships. Sometimes he does so through sudden loss. But every time He does, the goal is to bring us back to the “Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17b NIV). If you are feeling discontented, ask yourself, “If all I had were God’s presence and company, could I, would I, be contented with Him?”

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When we move away from God, we find that nothing satisfies. When we rest in His life and sustenance, we find only HE satisfies. In reality only HE can bring contentment.

David L. Rogers, M.A.Min

 

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