Why can’t we just be satisfied with what we have or where we are?
It seems as if those who have nothing would give anything to have something, and those who have everything would give it all to have more. We live in a dissatisfied world. A world that isn’t content with anything.
What cause discontentment, or dissatisfaction. There are 3 main things. Imagine your favorite sports team. This could be baseball, basketball, football or any other sport that you choose. Imagine that during the off-season your team made an amazing trade. They got the best player in the league. They got a player to fill the one spot they needed help with. Now imagine that 3 games into the season he gets hurt. You would be dissatisfied. Why? Because that isn’t the result you expected. The first cause of dissatisfaction is a lack of expected results. What if he played just as well as you imagined, but they still didn’t win the championship? That’s the second cause. Expected results didn’t fix the problem. They aren’t a championship team even with the best player. What if they got this guy but they had to trade away 5 of their best guys to get him. That’s the third one; the cost is too much for the expected results. Theses are the things that cause people to be dissatisfied. 1) Lack of expected results, 2) Expected results don’t solve problem, 3) Cost outweighs benefits of expected results.
St. Paul wrote in Philippians “…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”
There are some questions I have when I hear this. The first is “How do I do something through Christ’s Strength?” God gives us strength to do His will and to live the life that He has called us to live. So doing something through Christ simply means following God’s will. So that brings up another question “How do I know God’s will?” Well there are three ways we can know God’s will. One is to read the Bible that He’s given us because there are instructions in here on how to obey God’s will. Second is to pray. When we pray we don’t only ask God for stuff, but we also listen and if we are truly listening to God He’ll tell us anything we need to know at that time. Third is to seek out advice. The Bible tells us to seek the advice of those who are righteous. In other words get advice from people who you know have a good relationship with God.
Another question that comes to mind is “What does Paul mean by all things?” Does this mean I can be superman? Faster than a bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Of course it doesn’t. It means that with Christs strength we can do anything that God calls us to do. We don’t have to be anxious about what’s going to happen to us in the future. We don’t have to be worried about money, food, or clothes. This also means we don’t have to be afraid of failure. The Bible says if God is for us, who can be against us. If we are doing what God calls us to do we don’t need to be afraid of failure.
So how is all of this the secret to being content? We gave the three reason why people are dissatisfied, so lets look back at those. First this guarantees expected results God’s ultimate plan always works out. Second it guarantees to solve the problem. Not only does God’s plan always work out, but it always works. Third is that the cost ultimate cost for these results has already been paid by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. This means that there is no room for not being content. If follow God He will make it happen.