#struggles: Contentment

#Struggles: Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World


Contentment makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.
— Benjamin Franklin
  • Sociologists are saying that social media is one of the biggest driving causes of discontentment. when we look at other people’s lives on social media, they look perfect, because they’re putting their best image, their filtered image, forward.
We’re comparing our behind-the-scenes with other people’s highlight reels.
— Steven Furtick
  • Never, in the history of the world, could we so accurately measure popularity.  When I was a kid, we just had to kind of randomly guess that we weren’t popular. 

>>> So, we compare and summarize that everybody else’s life is so much better. The more we compare with others, the less satisfied we are. These things if not addressed are not “life neutral” They rob your life of life. Condemn your life to be a struggle with moments of exhilaration instead of a life of joy with moments of sorrow.

3 Areas of discontentment

  1. Material and financial discontentment

  2. Relational discontentment

  3. Circumstantial discontentment.

>>> Somebody said “Life is 10 percent of what happens to you, and 90 percent how you respond.”  The reality is, for most of us, it’s the flip side of that.  Most of us live as if life is 90 percent of what happens to us, and we don’t have much power in our response. How can we flip that around?

Biblical contentment

Philippians 4:12-13 - I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
  • I can do all this through” The one who gives me strength.
  • The secret of contentment is not found in what I have or do not have.  The secret of contentment is found in Christ, and Christ alone.
Hebrews 13:5 - Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Until Christ is all you have, you’ll never recognize that Christ is all you need.

>>> He is everything that we need. You can search, and search, and search, and get all the likes you want, get all the approval from people you want, all the material things you want, and know and love as many people as you can find.  But until you experience the goodness of Christ, you’ll always be dissatisfied.  Until you let Christ be all that you need, you’ll always battle with the enemy of discontentment.  Envy will rule in your heart.

3 things we need to do to have contentment 

1. We kill comparisons

2 Corinthians 10:12 - We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise
There is no win in comparisons.
— Andy Stanley
  • Why is comparison so bad?
James 3:14-16 - But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice
  • Where does demonic envy go?  V16. If you have envy and selfish ambition you will find disorder and every evil practice.

>>> The first thing is we kill comparisons through the power of Christ. If we don’t demonic envy can lead us to evil. 

2. Celebrate the Success of Others In Christ strength

  • When I can celebrate when someone else is blessed in a way that I wanted to be blessed, whenever I learn to celebrate with them, it purifies the intentions of my heart.  
James 4:1-3 - What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
  • When you ask you don’t get it because… Your motive is wrong. Your heart is impure…
  • Perhaps the reason why God is not blessing you with something you want is because you’re not celebrating God’s blessings in someone else’s life.  I want to be careful, and celebrate His blessings in someone else’s life.  I never want it to be about me.

3. Cultivate Gratitude

Envy is resenting God’s goodness in other people’s lives, and ignoring God’s goodness in your own life. 

Proverbs 15:15 - For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.
  • You see, if you want to look for bad in this world, you can find it.  But if you want to look to see God working –let me tell you –you can find it!  If you look for the blessings of God, you can see it!  “For the happy heart it’s a continual feast.”
  • Some of you are saying It’s just not my personality. Do not deny the power of God in your lives. 
  • Jesus came for Life, for life to be full. It doesn’t say except for those with a certain kind of personality.

Cultivate gratitude / How? 

Ecclesiastes 6:9 - Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind.
  • “Enjoy what you have” 

ILLUS: A rich industrialist who was disturbed to find a fisherman sitting lazily beside his boat enjoying the sun in the afternoon. "Why aren't you out there fishing?" he asked. "Because I've caught enough fish for today," said the fisherman. "Why don't you catch more fish than you need?' the rich man asked. "What would I do with them?" "You could earn more money," came the impatient reply, "and buy a better boat so you could go deeper and catch more fish. You could purchase nylon nets, catch even more fish, and make more money. Soon you'd have a fleet of boats and be rich like me." The fisherman asked, "Then what would I do?"  "You could sit down and enjoy life," said the industrialist. "What do you think I'm doing now?" 

  • Enjoy what God has given you, instead of longing for what you don’t have.  Be thankful for what God has given you. 
1 Thessalonians 5:18 - Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

>>> When my life is good, I thank God for His blessings.  When my life is not what I would want it to be, I thank God for His goodness, that He’s working in all things to bring about good to those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose.

SUMMARY: Social media has made the envy game even more pervasive. We have to recognize that discontentment is not life neutral it is demonic. Therefore, we will kill comparisons, because it’s earthly, unspiritual.  It’s demonic.  We will celebrate the blessings of others, and rejoice with those who rejoice.  And we will cultivate gratitude, worshiping our God because He is worthy of our praise, because we have learned the secret of being content, whether living in plenty, or living in want.  And the secret is, I can do all things through the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who gives me strength.  And because He is all I need, I will pursue Him with all my heart.  And in Him I will find true joy, and true contentment, because He is life, and He truly satisfies.

The psalmist said it like this…  The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not WANT! He is everything I need and He is better than anything else out there. He is my shepherd and I Shall not want!