The other day I was really frustrated about something going on with someone, and I said ” God I can’t do this anymore, how do I continue to love them, how do I keep forgiving them when they keep doing the same thing over and over again to me?”
Then there was a still small voice, “Kendra isn’t this what I have done for you? Didn’t I love you and die for you while you were yet still a sinner?” (Romans 5:8)
Wow that was a good reminder and a hard one. It got me thinking, you have accepted, and want God’s love and forgiveness for you, yet you aren’t willing to love and forgive someone who did something so small to you? This whole thing was very convicting to me and really made me start thinking of God’s love and forgiveness for us. How amazing it really is, and how for granted we take it. While we were still sinners Christ died for us. How many of you would be willing to die for someone, especially one who had done horrible things to you? This is what Christ did for us! It just blows my mind when I really think about what He has done for me. When I really understand the love of God, and what He has done for me, I can’t help but to love other people and to forgive them. How could I not when I realize what has been done for me by God. It makes me think of 1 John 4:7-8
1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
If I can’t love other people, or refuse to love them and forgive them then I can’t truly love God. These are just thoughts I had the other day, when God so graciously reminded me of his great love for me, and how He had done the exact thing for me that I didn’t want to do.
We are taught from a very young age if you don’t like what you have go out and change it. You aren’t happy with your job, quit and get a new one, you aren’t getting along with your spouse divorce them and remarry you aren’t happy where you are move! We get caught up in this trap that we will be happier if things were just different. Is that really true though? How many people do you know that switch jobs every year, move every year or every couple of years, are already on their 3rd or 4th spouse? Are they really happy or are they searching for something they will never find? Contentment is not found in things we have or people we are around. Content is found in the sufficiency of Christ.
“The secret to contentment is to focus on the Lord in every situation- as sovereign, as savior and as the sufficient one.”
The main passage that we see that teaches us about contentment is Philippians 4:10-13. Paul wrote the books of Philippians, Colossians, Ephesians, and Philemon from prison. While he was in prison he was struggling financially. He never told any of the churches that he was struggling, he only prayed about his financial troubles to the Lord. The Lord was faithful to provide through the Philippians this is how he starts talking to them about contentment, he was thanking them for their financial gift. Paul had learn to trust in God as a sovereign God. He had learn that God knew better about his life than He did. He learned that if God didn’t provide for him for a while then there was a plan and he trusted that God would teach him the lesson that he was trying to teach him. This isn’t something that came natural for Paul, just as it won’t come naturally for us. We have to learn to trust in the sovereignty of God. When we learn to trust in the sovereignty of God we will be content in all circumstances because we will know that God has a plan and what he has given us is exactly what we need for that time in our lives..
In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus teaches on seeking the kingdom and he will provided all of our basic needs. The second way to be content in this life is to serve our Savior. It’s so easy to not be content when we are focused on ourselves and our own happiness. When we are focused on ourselves we are thinking about what we can get next, how that person can make me happy. We will never be content this way we will always be looking for the next thing. You want to be content serve Jesus. Wake up every day and ask how you can serve him today. Grow in your relationship with Him, when we are focusing on Jesus and trying to reach other people with the Gospel then we will content with whatever we have, because we will realize this life has nothing to do with us but has everything to do with God. We will realize everything we have is a blessing and in reality we don’t deserve any of it, so we are content with whatever God has decided to give us.
The third way to be content is to realize the sufficiessncy of Christ. If Christ is sufficient why are you still looking for more? One of the most overused out of context verses is Philippians 4:13 ” I can do all things through Christ who strengths me.” Paul used this to say that whatever circumstances God put him in he could get through it because Christ would give him the strength to do it. If God called him to be poor he could do it because God would get him through it, if God called him to be rich and give to missions then he would give him the strength to do it. When you find your sufficiency in Christ you don’t look to things, or people to make you happy you are content in Christ because he is enough.
Take a look at your own life? Are you content or are you always looking for the next thing? Are you always looking at everything and wanting more, thinking if I just had this I would be happy? Why don’t I have a nicer house, why don’t I have more money?
Even if God blessed you with everything you think you need you wouldn’t be happy because you would be focused on yourself instead of God. We can only truly be content when we trust in the sovereignty of God, serve our savior, and learn that Christ is sufficient.
So the next time you want to complain and wish you had more, just focus on these three things! This is one way to be able to start living a godly life in an ungodly world!
Until the next post!
Have you ever been at a place in your life where you think you have everything figured out and then God just turns your life completely upside down? How do we trust God through that when we thought He was going left and all of a sudden he turns right. How do we abandon everything we have grown comfortable with and trust that the right turn that God just took was the right way to go instead of staying left like you wanted to? My husband and I just went through this exact situation and believe me it was not an easy time for us but we are on the other side now and we both would shout from the hilltops that going right with God was the best decision we ever made and we are so glad that we didn’t keep going left, alone, like we wanted to at first.
My Husband and I got married in 2014 and we started raising our support to become Missionaries in Brazil with Word of Life Fellowship. We raised our support in 6 months! We were on the field by March of 2016. We couldn’t of been more excited to serve God there and to be used by Him to reach the Brazilian people. A few months after we got there though things started to change. I started getting really sick with headaches, we thought at first that I just had a sinus infection but they didn’t get any better. As time went a long they actually got worse and I would have to spend 4-5 days in bed with headaches and I couldn’t do anything. As time went on we realized that we weren’t going to be able to stay in Brazil because I couldn’t handle living with the headaches all the time. How do you trust a God that helped you raise your support so fast, took you to Brazil to just get you sick and bring you back to the States? That’s the wonderful thing about God, you don’t always have to understand what He is doing, you just have to put your complete trust in Him and know that His ways are higher than your ways. (Isaiah 55:9) My husband and I spent a lot of time praying, questioning God why He brought us there to just bring us back. He had a plan though and we now will be serving God with Word of Life here in the States, and the region we will be in has the most Brazilians in the States so we will get to use everything that we learned in Brazil.
The last couple of months we were in Brazil everything was falling apart for us. I was so sick I was in bed literally everyday, we knew we had to leave Brazil but had no idea where we were going or what we were going to do. We were going left down the road enjoying ourselves and all of a sudden God went right on us and we were thrown for a loop. I love in John 13:7 where Jesus says ” You do not realize what I am doing but later you will understand” It might not be today, it might not be this side of heaven, but one day, you will understand what God is doing and you will be so glad you followed His lead.
I know trusting God is so hard when everything is falling apart around you, but remember, He has the best plan for your life and He will comfort you through this big change. He wants to hold you, He wants you to completely rely on Him through this time!
Psalm 94:19 NLT When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
Psalm 147:3, NIV He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
John 14:18 KJV I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Jeremiah 31:13b, ESV I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
So be encouraged and remember God is doing amazing things! Trust Him when He goes right when you are going left and have the courage to go with Him because you will go on a ride you will never forget and you will be so glad you did!
Have a great day guys!
Talk to you soon!
This is the post excerpt.
Hey guys, my name is Kendra Smith! I want to start a blog just to encourage you all with God’s word and share what He is teaching me. I am excited for you all to come along on this journey with me and I hope it can be an encouragement to you guys!