Have many times have you dealt with the ‘if onlys’ in your life?
If only my life were better.
If only ____________ would change or if only I could do _____________,
Perhaps you have felt lonely, angry, grieving, overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, bored, disrespected, sad, full of despair, or unhappy.
And you feel that your life would improve if only:
*Your husband made more money,
*You were thinner
*You had a different house
*Your children listened to you better
*You had a different car, career, or whatever (you name it)
*You were a better mother, wife, friend, neighbor, church member.
But God, This is Not What I Signed Up For!
There are many things we all wish that would change in our lives. And there are many reasons why you feel that your life should improve.
Perhaps you have pleaded with God, begging for change, and time and time again you see that He is not answering your prayer.
While you feel that if ‘just one’ thing would change you would be happier.
The truth is that your discontentment and dissatisfaction are rooted in an ungrateful, unappreciated, and prideful feelings and thoughts that have been harbored in your heart and allowed to fester and grow.
Once these types of thoughts and feelings are planted, their roots begin to grow deep into your heart. It does not take long for bitterness, resentment, unhappiness, anger, malic, sadness, depression, anxiety, or stress to become the way we feel.
It easy to understand why we feel the way we do because our human nature is selfish. We are bent on doing what makes us happy and that is why our feelings are so intense when we do not get our own way.
Happiness is Fleeting
Yet, none of these will make us truly happy in the end. Happiness is fleeting.
Happiness is temporarily based on situational happenstances. What made us happy ten minutes ago, will annoy us tomorrow and no longer satisfy us.
We should not be basing our happiness on what we want, need, or have. Our happiness should not come from possessions, people, or our situation.
The Bible calls us to allow our convictions, not our circumstances, to govern our sense of contentment. True, biblical contentment is a conviction that Christ’s power, purpose and provision is sufficient for every circumstance. We are to learn how to walk through all kinds of adversity believing in and experiencing Christ’s sufficiency. We have to choose to rest on God’s good promises despite what may be going on in our lives. Author Rob Kuban
How Can I Be Content?
Address the self-pity by giving thanks in all things so that one may cultivate an attitude of gratefulness regardless of the situation. Know that God desires to mold your character by using the very situation that perhaps has exasperated you the most. The very one that you seek to change the most.
Perhaps, God has a great lesson in the very thing that is causing your discontentment. And through this lesson, He is teaching you that you need Him.
And through this, you will be able to glorify Him as you put your trust in Him and ultimately glorify Him.
Whatever the reason that your prayers are not answered (the way you desire), know that God has a greater purpose in all things.
And through your suffering, discontentment, or unhappiness God’s will shall prevail as you praise Him.
“For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:17
Furthermore, it is important to change your viewpoint of God. God is to be revered and respected. Your view of yourself often allows you to think that God is meant to serve you. When we are to serve God and glorify Him with our lives.
He is to be praised and worshipped and we must choose contentment.
“I have learned, in whatever circumstances I am, to be content. I know also how to be abased, and I know how to abound. In everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to hunger, both to abound and to lack.” Philippians 4:11-12
We Must Go Against Our Feelings
Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves when we do not get our own way; God wants us to always give Him thanks and choose contentment.
Our discontentment is a state of the soul, not a product of our circumstances.
Whether you have a case of the ‘if only’s’ and are telling God this is not what I signed up; know that nothing is more valuable than seeking a relationship with the Lord. Through this relationship, a closeness will develop that is more precious than gold or silver, a new car, new job, prestige, a husband that treats you like a queen, or the most successful children in the world.
When your emotions get the best of you and the ‘if only’s’ have taken precedence in your heart; let the peace of God rule in your hearts….and be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
True peace and true contentment are unable to be fulfilled through various means that only leave you empty as where you began. “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” 1 John 2:17 (NIV).