Turning your complaints into content

contentIt’s easy to count our blessings when the sun is shining and the birds are singing and everything is falling into place just right.

It’s a different story when you’re in the middle of the storm, your friends aren’t around you, and your plan is falling apart.

But God calls each one of us to remain content in Him not only when times are good, but especially when times are bad.

Not only when we have victory, but also when we’re right in the middle of our deepest struggle.

Not only when He answers our prayers, but also when Heaven seems to ignore our calls.

For the longest time I didn’t understand what exactly it meant to be “content” in Christ.

Being content means to be mentally and emotionally satisfied with the ways things are.

It means we are willing to accept circumstances without complaining.

But how in the world can you be content when life is just plain hard?

When your dreams, your relationships, and your plans just seem to keep falling apart?

Does it mean you need to settle for less than what you have always dreamed of and prayed for?

Does it mean you need to stop trying to keep on pursuing those things that you desire?

No, what I have personally learned is that there is a big difference between settling and being content.

Settling means that when you find yourself in a less than easy situation in life you choose to stay there, whether intentionally, or on purpose.

It would be like the Israelites who left for the Promised Land but got stranded in the desert.

Their life wasn’t turning out the way they planned.

The Promised Land seemed unreal and far off in the distance.

So they chose to stay in the desert instead.

By complaining about how hard it was and disappointing God with their lack of faith and disobedience time after time.

They were meant to be in the desert for a short period of time but they chose to put their roots down and settle there instead because they weren’t getting what they wanted quickly enough.

But if only they were content their story would have a different outcome.

They would have said “Our circumstances are hard, but they won’t last forever.”

They would have said “God has brought us this far, He’ll be faithful in helping us make it the rest of they way.”

They would have said “Sure, all we have is manna right now, but soon we’ll be living in a land flowing with milk and honey, we can endure this for a little longer”.

See being content means to be satisfied with less… while you are waiting for more.

Being content doesn’t mean you give up on your dreams…. Joseph didn’t.

It just means you keep serving God faithfully in the little until He brings it to pass.

Being content doesn’t mean you settle for being a shepherd when you were called to be a king… David didn’t.

It just means you keep praising Him in the desert while you wait for Him to prepare the palace for you.

Being content doesn’t mean you stop praying for your desires to be fulfilled… Abraham didn’t.

It just means you keep trusting God when your hands are empty as you wait for Him to fill them at the right time.

Being content means trusting God when He puts you on hold.

It means choosing to worship instead of complain while you are walking in the desert towards your Promised Land.

It means maybe at the moment you don’t have what you’ve been waiting and praying for but you remain thankful for what you do have.

It means being happy to have our needs met, even when our wants remain unfulfilled.

It means trusting that God is working out His plan for our life and we will use every season and circumstance to grow in Him knowing that it’s all meant for our good.

“Be thankful for all things, good and bad because if it’s not blessing you, it is surely building you.” -Mandy Hale

It it’s not blessing us than it’s there to grow us. And in the end growing to be like Jesus will always be worth the pain.

Today, remember that you choose, like the Israelites whether you’ll be content or whether you’ll complain.

Whether you’ll be grateful for God bringing you to this point or grumble about where He has yet to take you.

Today, choose to be content with Christ knowing that every circumstance He allows you to be in will only bring you a step closer to where He’s taking you to next.

God required the Israelites to walk through the desert, Joseph to be stuck in a dungeon cell, and David to hide away in caves before He brought them to their final place.

And He’ll require you to go through times of testing as well.

To build you up and strengthen your faith.

And to prove to you in the end that He’ll get you to the finish line.

Keep trusting God during the hard times and your good days will be sweet. Have a blessed day! Anna… 

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”- Philippians 4:11-13

photo credit: [polyvore] via tumblr

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15 thoughts on “Turning your complaints into content

  1. Just coming across this and I was hoping it was leading to Philippians! 🙂 Contentment in any circumstance. It’s a great reminder and thanks for the encouragement! -Adam

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have always had a difficulty in differentiating the two….what a revelation…!!!may the good Lord continue to reveal more through and give you strength to carry on…I’m really blessed by your blogs.

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    • Thank you! I’m glad it helped you differentiate a little between the two. There is still much more to understand about it but it’s a start (at least for me). May you keep on always walking strong with God and remaining content in all of life’s circumstances. Be blessed!

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  3. A BIG Amen!!! Wow. I agree with Rolain. I love your definition of contentment here. I struggled with this for awhile too. I am so glad that we don’t have to settle and that we don’t even necessarily have to be happy with where we are, but we can find joy and peace in the hard places while still looking ahead to the future. I can be satisfied with what I have and offer my gratitude to God, and I can also continue to pray about the dreams in my heart. I like how you juxtaposed the difference between “settled” and “contentment”. As always, Anna, your posts have encouraged me! Blessings in Christ to you, my sister! 🙂

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    • Thanks! Contentment has always been a very “gray” area for me because I never fully understood what it meant (and I’m still far from having it figured out) but it was nice to write about it and actually try to make sense of what it really means in our faith and walk with Christ. Although similar, settling and being content are two very different things and it’s important to always choose to be content over settling for something that is only meant to last for a season. I’m glad it was an encouragement to you and may you always remain content with Christ in whatever circumstances you find yourself at. Be blessed!

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  4. Hello Anna, This was so uplifting! I’ve walked with Jesus over 40 years now and this message is still needed in my life. Contentment ‘on the bench’ is a tough one, but it’s in that time that God does a deep work in us that equips us for what will follow. Thanks 😉

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    • I’m glad it was uplifting Kelly! Contentment is probably one of the hardest things to learn in life but once we do learn how to be at peace with our circumstances at all times we build our faith and make it easier to trust God no matter what we are facing. May He help us all know Him on a deeper level so that we will always find joy in our days no matter what they may bring! Be blessed!

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  5. Reblogged this on kingspeech and commented:
    What does contentment really mean……..in the context of destiny and purpose what does it mean to be content? How do you know the difference between settling for less or being content? Anna does a great job of defining what contentment really is……I pray this post blesses you as it did me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Anna…..what a deep post. There was so much to digest.
    Your definition of contentment really encouraged me.

    “Being content means being satisfied with less while waiting for more”- I loved this definition.
    From what I understand from everything you have said, contentment is not just being ok with how everything is and staying there but it’s a acknowledging of what is happening right now but having an understanding that there is more….it’s having an understanding that what we going through right now is not …. IT.

    “Being content doesn’t mean we give up on our dreams” – so so true. When things consistently don’t work out there is a temptation to think that we made a mistake, that God doesn’t have something big for us but that’s not true!

    Anna, I could go on and on honestly…..haha
    Thank for writing a post in season. I am going to reblog this because I think it will encourage a lot of people…..God bless you!

    Rolain

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Rolain! I think we are both on the same page when it comes to this! For the longest time I thought being content meant I had to pretend I was happy (or convince myself to be) in less than good circumstances but I have been learning that it’s not what it means at all. It means learning to find peace and joy in our situation at the moment even if it’s hard because we understand that God is working it out for something better in us and for us.

      Once I really understood that it made it so much easier to embrace everything that God allows me to walk through in life.

      Thank you for your insight. I love hearing your thoughts on these topics. Have a blessed weekend!

      Liked by 3 people

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