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As I drove home, the traffic was bumper to bumper. As I sat at a standstill, I distinctly grabbed my smartphone which was in the cup holder of my driver’s side. Still waiting, I began scrolling through Facebook. As I looked through the pictures of my news feed, I became to feel upset.
The last few weeks had been hard which was why I hadn’t posted anything on Facebook in a long time. My life was coming apart at the seams. Why wasn’t my experience like the multitude of other’s lives displayed online? Smiles, vacations, milestones, and discoveries were not the reality of my life. I was struggling with my current season, so I withdrew into my unhappiness asking God why my life was so hard.
With the advancement of social media, there’s a glaring reminder of what we are missing. Someone is always toping what we have.
When we’re struggling especially as a Christian, we can question if God is trustworthy. I mean, don’t we deep down think if we’re following God we should be happy and if we’re not, He’s somehow at fault?
Why is God keeping things from me if He wants me to be happy?
God isn’t good because I’m not happy.
So we ride the line, we place a foot on the God side, and one foot still searches for an earthly fix to make us feel content and happy.
Why am I Unhappy?
Living in our world of excess materials, we think that happiness lies in more stuff we need to possess. Satan is all too happy to help us join in the quest to find another fix or spend some more money trying to ease the feeling of unhappiness.
(Romans 12:2, NLT).
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Urban Dictionary’s definition of ungrateful is “when someone just doesn’t care about all the good things you’ve done for them.”
When we boil it down, our thinking causes unhappiness the majority of the time. Circumstances can cause it too, but it’s our interpretation of the hand dealt with us.
When we see someone else’s highlight reel, we become discontent which leads to unhappiness which leads to our view of God.
Our faulty perspective is how we get stuck. Our thinking isn’t correct, and our feelings aren’t the truth. When we believe God isn’t right or good to us, we will remain in this unhappy prison cell.
The flip of the coin is to think of the pain and struggles someone else is experiencing. Honestly, someone will always have it worse than us.
The foundational truth is in the Bible. We can see over and over God’s goodness and truth behind all His actions.
What do I Deserve?
Someday, we will see what God has kept from us. The pain, the danger and how He protected us.
What we deserve is eternal death in Hell from our sins. However, each day God sends gifts of mercy and love.
To be discontent and unhappy with the blessings we currently receive and the hope of eternity is a slap to God’s face.
The truth is, all good and joy aren’t found apart from God, and our heart isn’t looking for “stuff.”
A man’s contentment is in his mind, not in the extent of his possessions. Alexander the Great, with all the world at his feet, cries for another world to conquer.
7 Ways to Help you think With Contentment
- Spend time growing in faith.
- Strive for less.
- Enjoy life’s moments more.
- Focus on what you have
- Put your hope in God using goals.
- Stay in the present instead of the past or the future.
- Be smart about the company you keep.
While I love the ability to connect to people all the time, and the access to information at my fingertips, I know I’ve been more discontent while being able to see other’s lives each day. The Holy Spirit is nudging me to set my phone down more and to spend time on it thoughtfully.
When I start to feel myself comparing, I need to step back, thank God for the blessings in my life, the hard seasons He has brought me through, and ask Him to create a heart of contentment in me.
God is good. God is good to me. God is good at being God. ~Lysa TerKeurst