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Woman to Woman
By Joyce Meyer
FaithwordsCopyright © 2006 Joyce Meyer
All right reserved.
Chapter OneLooking for Contentment in All the Wrong Places
Women of God should be peaceful, joyful, thankful, and content. In Philippians 4:11, Paul said that he had "learned how to be content." Well, I don't know about you, but I spent many years, even as a believer, before I learned contentment, and I believe there are many other women who struggle as I did trying to find it. You may be one of them.
I knew how to be satisfied if I was getting my own way-if everything was working exactly as I had planned, but how often does that happen? Very rarely, in my experience. I knew absolutely nothing about how to handle even the ordinary trials that come along in most every woman's life. I didn't know how to adapt to other people and things.
I found out that a woman who can only be satisfied when there are no disturbances in life will spend much of her time being discontented. I finally desired stability enough that I was willing to learn whatever it took to have it. I wanted to be satisfied no matter what was going on around me.
The Amplified Bible defines the word content as "(satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am in" (v. 11). I appreciate this definition because it doesnot say that I must be satisfied to the point where I don't ever want change, but I can be satisfied to the point that I am not anxious or disturbed. I desperately wanted and now enjoy that kind of peace. How about you?
I am going to share with you four things that I think lead to feelings of discontentment, especially among women. The number one problem is greed. Have you ever known someone who just could not be content no matter how much they had? I was once like this myself. Of course, I didn't think of it at the time as being greedy. I just always wanted more than I had.
Hebrews 13:5 says, "Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]" Wow! That is powerful!
This Scripture lets us know that we can and should be satisfied where we are, while we are getting to where we are going. God's ways are progressive. He has a wonderful plan for our lives and it unfolds progressively. We don't have to wait until we have the end result to enjoy where we are and be satisfied. We can find our satisfaction in Him while we are on our way to the fulfillment of our hopes and dreams.
I also believe that fear causes many of us to be unhappy and discontented. We are afraid we will not get what we desire. At one time, I had a misconceived notion that I had to pray my fearful feelings away and continue praying for God to deliver me until those feelings were all gone. I have since learned that I don't have to submit to those fearful feelings. I learned that I could do the things God wanted me to do, and I could wait on His perfect timing to bring to me those things that He knew were best for me. If I hadn't learned that lesson, I wouldn't be teaching and preaching today.
We can find our satisfaction in Him while we are on our way to the fulfillment of our hopes and dreams.
Once we learn to trust God and step out even though we're afraid, God will provide the courage and boldness we need to overcome our fear. Just remember that there are no failures in Christ. If you make a mistake, God will just lift you up, teach you something from it, and send you on your way. You have not failed until you stop trying.
Lack of trust in God is another cause of discontentment. Simple trust in God brings us into a place of rest. Romans 15:13 says, "May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope." Joy and peace are found in believing. Simple, childlike faith brings us the kingdom, which is righteousness, peace, and joy.
Looking for contentment in all the wrong places is my fourth reason for discontentment. For years I looked for contentment and satisfaction in things. The result was that I never found it. I was never really satisfied. My husband, Dave, told me once that he had finally realized that no matter what he did, he could never satisfy me, so he was going to quit working so hard at it.
The prophet Jeremiah refers to looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places as digging empty wells that have no water in them (see Jeremiah 2:13 NCV). The answer to my constant frustration came when I received the revelation that my satisfaction had to be in Christ Jesus. I came to know what a privilege it was to live under His guidance, trusting that He would never fail me, nor forsake me.
When Paul said he had learned to be content, he was saying that even if he did not particularly like the situation in which he found himself, he still trusted God. Therefore, his trust kept him in perfect peace. When our mind is stayed on the Lord, we are content and peaceful.
Trusting God and refusing to complain in hard times greatly honors Him. It is of no value to talk of how much we trust God when all is well. But when the test comes, then we should say and sincerely mean, "I trust You, Lord." He delights in a contented child. When we stop struggling with everything and humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, He promises to exalt us.
God is waiting to bless you, but you must close destructive doors of discontentment through gratitude and thanksgiving. He always knows what He is doing. Don't wait until everything is perfect before you decide to enjoy your everyday life.
Excerpted from Woman to Woman by Joyce Meyer Copyright © 2006 by Joyce Meyer. Excerpted by permission.
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