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.             Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

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.

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.

  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

  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.
  True faith doesn't mean just trusting God to give peace in the midst of discomfort and not take action. Jesus told us:

  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 come.Matthew 10:23

  He didn't 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 Gospel.
  Faith means moving and trusting God's hands of loving help and care:

  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
Satan's Counter Attack
  Satan has his wiles using this discomfort method to help our flesh hold sway, justifying resistance to God's direction.
  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 me.'
  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 stagnation.
  Resistance to God sent discontentment can not result in real contentment. False peace is the substitute. Jesus gave another warning:

  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.            Matthew 12:43-45

  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!
  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:

  6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
    Matthew 5:6

  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.    
    Matthew 6:31-33

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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

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