My heart is raw with disappointment. I’m not happy doing a job I was once excited to have. Am I discontent and ungrateful? Is it time for me to move on in search of another job?
Though my heart is drunken with discontentment, it can be sobered when remembering who I am. I am a son. And because I am a son, God has sent the spirit of his son into my heart crying ‘Abba Father!’ So I am no longer a slave to sin and discontentment. I am a son. And if a son then and heir through God (Galatians 4:6–7). And if an heir, I am accepted by God in any phase of life.
But although I am an accepted son, I need to learn obedience. And I learn obedience through what I suffer. If this was true for Jesus, how much more is it true for me (Hebrews 5:8)? So I need help in my suffering – the annoying craving and desire to be doing something else. I need The Lord’s help to not be discontent.
The help I receive for my discontentment comes from walking in God’s theater every day. I have the unique opportunity to gaze and wonder at his beauty. Recognizing, enjoying, and worshipping him in his creation is a medicinal and sobering for discontent.
In the amazement of his creation I ask “whom have I in heaven but you?” When I indulge in the goodness of God’s creation there will be nothing on earth I desire besides God. My flesh and my heart could fail, and I could never get the job I really want, but God will be the strength and joy of my heart – and my portion forever (Psalm 73:25–26).
But the real and more powerful help I get from God is the gospel. The good news that I am secured for all eternity shapes my today. I am being saved by the gospel and it alone has the power to reorient my passions (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:18).
I turn away from God in my discontentment. In turning away I am choosing to believe I can find more pleasure and satisfaction in this world than what I can find in God. But this is foolishness, because if I turn and run far from him, I will perish (Psalm 73:26). But if I seek to remain in his presence there will be fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). The only real medicine for my discontentment is my continual happiness in God.
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