Happiness usually seems to be just barely out of reach. I think everyone runs into problems with being happy with where they are but I’ve found this to be the case especially for people my age. Many people forget to be faithful in the present because they are too busy focusing on the future. We so easily fall into the mentality of “if I just had ____ I would be happy.” We seem to be just one event or life situation change away from being just totally content. If I could just make it to graduation, land that job, get married, settle down etc… We never have enough and we always want more. People have the hardest time being content right where God has planted them. Why? Because it is not natural. Paul says in Philippians 4:11, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Paul had to learn to be content no matter what life threw at him.
When we live our lives purely for ourselves, striving for happiness becomes our main goal. Reality check: happiness isn’t our sole purpose in life! When we turn our eyes off what we want and what we think would make us happy and turn our eyes toward how God wants to use us and what He wants in our lives THEN we will find contentment.
Contentment totally revolves around trusting God. When we don’t trust that God has our best interest in mind, we become anxious when a circumstance is out of our control. This can lead to a frustration that festers anger and bitterness. But like my friend Keith Harmon says, “God is good, He is faithful, we can trust Him.” God is fully aware of our needs and we can expect him to supply those needs or to give us the strength to persevere.
I believe that the biggest roadblock in being happy where God has us now is when we compare ourselves to others. I’ve heard it said before, “comparison is the thief of joy,” but I think it could also be said, “comparison is the thief of contentment.” God loves you unconditionally just as you are this second. He doesn’t love anyone else more or anyone else less.
If we trust that God is good and is faithful we don’t have to worry about our future. Instead of worrying about our future, we should be praying and waiting for God to move. Take the time to thank God for all He is doing now and what He has already done. Even if He never answers another prayer or never does anything else for us, He has done enough already. He is enough. Psalm 16:5 says, “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.”
Trust that God is enough and find contentment in knowing that God’s ways are perfect and these old words will ring true in your life:
“Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well with my soul’”