I wish I could say I've mastered the art of being content, but I can't. I work very hard to be content, and will probably work every bit as hard thirty years from now as I do today. Being sick isn't something I chose. When I look back over my life and see all the mistakes I have made, even though I wish I could take those mistakes back, at least they were mistakes I chose to make. I didn't choose to be sick, and I certainly didn't choose to be in medical debt.
God has shown me several things I can do to counteract the discontented blues. Something I must do every day is take time to praise God, especially when I don't feel like it. Doing this takes the focus off myself and puts it on the only One who can do anything about my problems. It also reminds me that God will use my suffering for His glory, and that always encourages me.
Reading God's Word goes hand-in-hand with praising God. The Bible is our spiritual sword, and it helps fight off any negative thoughts that come our way. Knowing His Word fills our minds with good thoughts and erases the bad thoughts.
The next thing I do is pray for a spirit of joy. Joy isn't false happiness. It's not pretending everything is okay. Joy looks realistically at a difficult situation and says, "My God is bigger than any problem of mine. He is in control and there is nothing to worry about." Joy allows me to face any challenge head-on with God's strength and encouragement.
The final weapon in my arsenal against fighting discontentment is looking at who God created me to be. I may be sick, but God created me uniquely. He has given me special gifts just as He's given everyone gifts unique to each individual. Taking an honest look at all the good ways God created me helps me not become so focused on my sickness.
Although doing these things doesn't mean I never struggle with discontentment, it helps me stay content when it's easy to be anything but. The more I practice these truths, the more I see the truth in what Christ said. I am blessed when I'm content with who I am. Having a contented spirit is something money can't buy. I may be sick and I may be broke, but when I am content with who God created me to be, I know I am truly blessed.
"You made my whole being; You formed me in my mother's body. I praise You because You made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What You have done is wonderful. I know this very well." ~ Psalm 139:13-14 (New Century Version)
(c) August 17, 2011