A Discontent Heart

rembrandt-apostle-paul

dis·con·tent/ˌdiskənˈtent/

  1. Lack of contentment; dissatisfaction with one’s circumstances.
  2. A person who is dissatisfied, typically with the prevailing social or political situation.
  3. A restless desire or craving for something one does not have.

Hebrews 13:5-6

5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

Philippians 4:10-13
10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 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. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 3:8-21

8Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

12Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

17Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ21who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

The Contents of a Heart of Discontentment:

What are the things that lay at the bottom of a heart of discontentment? These are a few but let us not over look the deep idols in our lives as well.  Let us not over look the true things that direct us and guides us.

Ingratitude:  Grumbling and murmuring over the things we want as well as the things we don’t have.  A heart that is void of thanksgiving and satisfaction of our lot in life.  It is a ingratitude that blinds us to just how much that has been given, even when we deserve nothing. Our lives are filled with frustration because we wrestle daily with the accumulation of things to make us content

Arrogance:  We strongly believe we have a better plan for our lives than God does.  We feel that if we were in control that we would be content and happier.  We secretly and sometimes openly think that we are god.  It is frustrating to see that we have so little control over life and God as we continue to do external deeds hoping to control a sovereign God.

Lust and greed: To put it as simply as I can, “I want more!” and what I have is not enough.  We become completely and utterly dissatisfaction with our blessings.  We are never happy with what we receive even when its good, it’s still not good enough.  We are discontent brats.

Having a discontent heart almost killed me and it threatens to ruin my relationship with God. My mind was flooded with thoughts of how I wanted my life to go.  My discontent dominated my prayers as it was all I begged for.

I had become so consumed with my lack until I couldn’t see what was in front of me. Every time I came to my senses I would reconcile my ingratitude towards God with me speaking for him saying “he wants me blessed with things”.  My sin was great and even now, I can find a minister who would support my heart.  We would invent a theology or doctrine with scriptures from all over the bible. Every one of the scriptures would be out of context no doubt. This doctrine will usually put money in the minister’s pocket and make us feel better for a little while. I have spent so much of my time on this roller coaster. The carts are all riding a track that was planned by an engineer and it can’t be changed. Yet we all climb aboard with the goal of changing the immutable. We never entered the ride in the right frame of mind. Our minds are not renewed or directed correctly. We can’t enjoy the roller coaster because we can’t stop thinking that we can do better. I never knew how to enjoy a gift. I had to learn how to enjoy the gift that happened when the free gift was all I had. We make such a big deal about stewarding earthly things but what about the heavenly thing. We underestimate how much we really are like Adam and eve. We are in our gardens with our own selfishness as our forbidden tree.

Genesis 3:1-7

1Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You[a] shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,[b] she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

A Quote from C. H. Spurgeon

These words (Philippians 4:11) show us that contentment is not a natural propensity of man. “Ill weeds grow apace.” Covetousness, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth: and so, we need not teach men to complain; they complain fast enough without any education. But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would have wheat, we must plough and sow; if we want flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener’s care. Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated; it will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be specially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us. Paul says, “I have learned . . . to be content;” as much as to say, he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to attain to the mystery of that great truth. No doubt he sometimes thought he had learned, and then broke down. And when at last he had attained unto it, and could say, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content,” he was an old, grey-headed man, upon the borders of the gravea poor prisoner shut up in Nero’s dungeon at Rome. We might well be willing to endure Paul’s infirmities, and share the cold dungeon with him, if we too might by any means attain unto his good degree. Do not indulge the notion that you can be contented with learning, or learn without discipline. It is not a power that may be exercised naturally, but a science to be acquired gradually. We know this from experience. Brother, hush that murmur, natural though it be, and continue a diligent pupil in the College of Content.

It is and was my obsession with self-comfort that fueled my discontent. As Christians we find ways to make it ok because in our eyes God only wants to bless not discipline us. We want to believe God does not punish good people. R. C. Sproul Jr. said “people sin first and then create worldviews to justify the sin; people don’t create worldviews and then sin”

Meaning that a lot of what we “believe” about God’s character or what we choose not to know is because our view is set up to justify our sins.  We create views that mask the seriousness of the discontent in our hearts.  We willingly call it ambition and not what it really is, Idolatry.

My heart was discontent because I didn’t get the glory meant for Christ. Of course we don’t say it like that. But we really want and desire something more than God. We become frustrated because we are not where we feel we should be in life. We believe that our plan is better and that we are doing the right things so why God is responding. Because if he would just bless us we will bless others. And so to get our way we pray selfishly with prideful humility. We feel that we are only asking for what god promised, right?  Like Adam and Eve we have been giving the greatest gift in the world and still it isn’t enough.  We believe God doesn’t care or is listening because we don’t have “that” like a little child.  Adam and Eve was given the world and desired, lust, and hungered for a single tree.  What made us take it against God’s will was the lie that we would be like him.  We want more because we think if we have it that it will make us whole but only submission to Christ can do that.

Matthews 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? [a] 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

When we minister like he called all of us to, when we put his will First, when we desire his glory only and when Jesus Christ becomes all we need, the heart will start to be content.  We need to repent for the grumbling and asks the Holy Spirit to teach us to be content. We ought to look to Christ as an example.  Just as Jesus’ desire for God’s will was greater than his own in that he suffered for us and he was content with whatever was to come. Paul was able to count all things as rubbish when compare to Christ because he had no further ambition but to be used by God.

With a discontent heart, when we receive from God it will only highlight our discontent. This kind of heart will reject ministry because it is so focused until don’t care about what it has received; it only sees what it wants.  Discontentment hinders joyful obedience; it becomes hard to follow a God whom you don’t trust with the planning of your life.  Discontentment leads to covetousness. That very thing that would make you content becomes our salvation.  “If I just had this”, this is idolatry and its core. What drives are fear of confession discontent and moving toward contentment is that we are afraid if we become content that God will leave us there.

We cannot hope to begin to travel down the road of contentment until Jesus becomes enough.  Christ is our first and ultimate gift and if we don’t see him that way we will never be satisfied.  God’s gift to all mankind is reconciliation to himself through Christ.  He is precious to the Father as he should be precious to us.  If we don’t see the gospel, the cross, Jesus Christ, our redemption and our salvation as being above all then we can never hope to be grateful.  If our hearts are not filled with thanksgiving for receiving a gift of life without earning it, how can anything else make us content?  When God’s grace through Christ changes our heart we don’t ultimately care if life goes the way we want ask long as we have Jesus.

1 Timothy 6:6-11

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

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  1. […] A Discontent Heart (anointedplace.wordpress.com) […]

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  2. […] is not will power or us simply willing things into being.  Determination has nothing to do with faith.  Faith is not forcing things into what you want.  Faith is actively […]

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  3. […] began to long for Egypt because of the discontentment of the body. It is in midst of anxiety and discontentment, covetousness, and idolatry do we question the choices and the desire to follow where God leads. […]

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