1 To every thing there is a
season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be
born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that
which is planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break
down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a
time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, and a
time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to
refrain from embracing; 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to
keep, and a time to cast away; 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a
time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 A time to love, and a time
to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
As we can see in this
famous passage of Solomon's, there are times for the pleasantries
of life as well as the unpleasantness. Specifically, just now, I'm
thinking of the area of contentment versus discontentment. It's not
intended for there to be peace for God's people at all times. There's a
time for discontentment. A certain frustration. It's God's way of
causing us to move on in our growth. With man, as long as everything's
comfortable, we tend to stay put. Why change, when we're all-around
content? It takes discomfort to cause us to take action.
5 Trust in the Lord with all
thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy
ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.Proverbs 3:5,6
God Sent Discontentment
You have a new shirt. You put it on and head out the door. All
is well, until you notice the tag in the back is sewed on with tough
fishing line thread. The edge isn't properly tucked in and is pointing
directly at you. It's scratching you mercilessly. You can think of
nothing but that irritating tag. It doesn't matter how comfortable the
rest of the shirt is, it's the uncomfortable part you're fully aware
of! You may try to ignore it, but once that irritation has started, you
can't forget it. You won't be happy until the problem's fixed.
That's the nature of God-sent discontentments. He sends them
with a purpose. He might in effect be saying, 'You've been doing fine
until now, but now is the time to change, grow, step up to the next
level in your walk with Me.' Only the discontentment causes us to get
out of our comfort zone and take the necessary action.
Usually, change involves risks and sometimes hardships. Things
we like to avoid. It takes a greater discomfort to force us to step out
into possible danger zones.
Discomforts force us to exercise risky faith. We don't always
know, but we have to put faith in our loving Father, that He won't let
us be destroyed.
Trusting in His
PROVIDENCE! We should know He has something better for us, and is
actively involved in our lives, directing with a purpose. He cares and
wants us to simply have faith.
23 But when they persecute
you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye
shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be
True faith doesn't mean just trusting God to give peace in the
midst of discomfort and not take action. Jesus told us:
challenge us to trust in peace and not budge. The persecution was God's
way of causing us to move on when the time was right. The discomforts
of life are to force us on to the next town, as it were, to preach the
25 I have been young, and now
am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed
begging bread.Psalms 37:25
Faith means moving and trusting God's hands of loving help and
Satan's Counter Attack
Satan has his
wiles using this discomfort method to help our flesh hold sway,
justifying resistance to God's direction.
43 When the unclean spirit is
gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and
findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence
I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and
garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other
spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there:
and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall
it be also unto this wicked generation.
I've seen instances where people decided their commitment was
primarily elsewhere than the Lord. Being Christians, they had to
somehow harmonize their will with God's. They were shown scripture
giving biblical directions, but couldn't pay the price they called for.
What happened? After they took action, walking down the wrong path,
they got something they really wanted to help them be content.
Something to take their mind off the discontent in resisting God's
word. They used that apparently miraculous provision to justify their
disobedience saying, 'I know I'm right with God. Look what He did for
The desired toy helped them temporarily ignore the scratching
tag in the back of the shirt. A bandaid on their necks, as it were, for
a solution. God's planned discomfort was falsely soothed. The soothing
was then actually used to justify rebellion.
Responses to Discontentment
How do we deal with God's discontentment in the right way? God
doesn't raise up a discontentment, without, at the right time, opening
the vent for the pressure to flow in the right direction. It will, most
likely, mean walking into the face of our fears. Uncertainty, possibly
alone, but He intends us to walk by faith. We take that first step of
faith, longing most of all for the Father. He won't let us go and fall
to destruction. At that moment, we'll know true peace, and once again a
contentment. We'll know provision and joy. Before that moment, there
must first be obedience. Excuses only stifle and spell failure and
Resistance to God sent discontentment can not result in real
contentment. False peace is the substitute. Jesus gave another warning:
When we resist,
and choose our own way, gladly clinging to a satanic pacifier, we open
the door for the forces of darkness to gain a real foothold in our
lives. I've seen this played out all too often. One couple choose the
worldly course and tagged on a religious justification. The bandaid
solution didn't play out. Years later, their own child testified they
were never happy and was wondering what he could do to make them happy.
Their older children followed the ways of the world with illegitimate
relationships. The cost was great!
6 Blessed are they which do
hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Discontentment can also be termed 'dissatisfaction' or
'restlessness'. Another area of discontentment is often found in
personal relationships. We sense a lack and seek to fulfill that lack
through others. We might glomb on to someone or other, thinking we'll
find our happiness there. When we choose that course, we're not seeking
God, but self satisfaction. That's the doorway through which Satan
gains his entrance. Before long, we'll probably get that relationship
and will think we gained some kind of fulfillment. Beware, that
deception is great. We soon can't see what others see. We think all is
well, but looking at it from the view of Christians on fire for God, we
see a diseased state. The faithful for God see our lack of care for the
body of Christ. Private devotions are enough for us now. They see how
we watch movies that at another time we would have shunned with great
revulsion. They see that lukewarm heart that we're now numb to.
Attaining the Goal
It doesn't have to have a bad ending. God has a goal and great
plans for any child of His that He brings into His arranged
discomforts. If we seek to lay hold on God with all our might, in the
midst of these discontentments, we will come out the winners. Jesus
promised this in that famous beatitude:
To hunger and
thirst after righteousness, instead of contentment, has the promise of
finding satisfaction. With that satisfaction, we find God and true
peace and contentment. I can think of no better way to conclude this
message than with Christ's own words:
31 Therefore take no thought,
saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal
shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles
seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these
things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.
Free to Copy under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND3.0 License by Darrell Farkas
All quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible