Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. -Hebrews 13:5 KJV
I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. -Philippians 4:11-13 Message
I hope that you’re all doing well. I wanted to write because yesterday while talking to my best friend Jeida (many of my blog ideas come from conversations with her), I realized that I am truly happy with my life. I realized that I don’t feel any voids, holes or discontentment although there are many things in my life that can be better.
Let’s face it. At some point, all of us realize that our life is not what we thought it would be 5 years ago. I am 22 years old but when I was 17, I had life all figured out. I knew that by 22, I would be a college graduate, working as a nurse, married to my high school sweetheart and living the high life. I mean I had school planned out, wedding dates and children’s names. That’s before I realized that I didn’t get to plan my life myself. Also, before I realized that God’s plans are greater than mine and definitely before I read Proverbs 16:9 which says, “We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live.” As of now, I’m not yet a college graduate. I haven’t started my career, but when I do I will be making less money than I ever wanted to. I have no awesome guy friends I’d like to marry, no boyfriend, no prospects and no wedding dates in mind. I have no awesome fancy apartment or car. All of these things sound like the makings of a sad situation but to be completely honest with you, I am completely filled with joy.
What I have come to understand is that my life is not where I thought it would be even 6 months ago, but there is no better place than where I am and that is simply because of Jesus. I don’t have all the things I thought I’d have, but God is working in my life. Doors are opening for me and I see Him leading me along the way. This place can only be described as total dependence, devotion and surrender to Jesus. Not just this, but I am also completely in love with the man and I am pursuing Him like He’s the last man I’ll ever know. I am chasing Him, burning for Him and giving myself to Him. Right now, there is nothing I want more in this life than to please my Jesus. Nothing. No status, job, title, relationship, money, anything. I am completely in love with where we are and with how He is molding me into a woman that He wants me to be.
I am so thankful because I haven’t always been this way. If you read some of my previous blog posts, you know that this is a new thing for me. But it is so amazing that I never want to go back to just being a “church attendee who tries to do things right.” The level of intimacy, love, peace and joy that I have in this relationship is the best thing I’ve ever experienced. Things are so amazing that I am literally rolling out of bed at 6am to have prayer and worship. I NEVER did that before without a struggle. It was hard because I wasn’t excited to do it. Right now, I am elated to get to spend time with this amazing man that I love before my day gets started. It’s a joy!
But enough of my happy talk. Here are some things that I have done/tips to help you get to the point where Jesus is your all and you are completely content in Him. Ready? Let’s go!
1. Spend time with Him and read about His promises
I spend ample amounts of time in prayer every single day. I am also in the process of reading the entire Old Testament and reading several books. There’s no way around this. Many times, we want the benefits of a relationship with God without putting in the work. Pursue Him simply to get to know Him and see how He works in your life and gives you peace. Also, memorize scriptures and promises that He has made. When I have feelings of discontentment despite knowing I’m right where I should be, I have several verses and sayings that remind me that’s God’s got everything under control. I’ll share a few:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5, 6 NIV
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28 NIV
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 NIV
2. Count your blessings and answered prayers
When I start to feel that my life isn’t working out right, I begin to count my blessings and my answered prayers. When I realize that I can’t count them all, it usually helps me to understand that I am blessed beyond measure. It is in those moments that my strength, faith and joy are renewed.
3. Remember that God is working everything out for your good and for His glory
When we live for Christ and we know that we are doing what He would have us to do, we can always remind ourselves that Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I love this promise, and the short way that I say this is “God is working everything out for my good and for His glory.” How amazing is that? What an amazing promise! Basically, all we have to do is stay obedient, faithful and focused on God and what He has for us to do and everything will work out for us. This doesn’t mean that we sit around and not take care of our business, do our homework or go to work. It means that God is always on our side making things work for us as long as we love Him and are committed to our purpose.
4. Don’t allow negativity, complaining or bad emotions to fester
Often times, it’s hard for us to be content with our lives and our portion because we are negative and we complain a lot. We point out what God is doing for others, compare our lives to theirs and want what they have. This creates bad feelings which make us depressed and sad. Then we get “stuck in our feelings” as many people would say. We have to fight off negativity all the time. When I feel myself getting ready to complain, I pray. I thank God for my life and where I am right now. I thank Him for this season of transition, growth and change that is making me more like Him. I thank Him for every blessing and trial alike. Shelley Giglio, an amazing woman of God tweeted something so simple yet profound one day when I was online. It simply said “sometimes you have to contend for faith.” On the daily basis, I contend for peace, joy, faith and other things. But the point is, I don’t just let the devil or life’s circumstances take these things from me. I FIGHT for them. I WILL keep my peace, joy and faith. The best way to make this fight easier is to rid as much negativity from your life as possible.
5. Keep your mind stayed on Jesus
I know many people think that this is just a saying, but it is a state of mind. Throughout the day, I try to keep my mind on my Savior. On the amazing man who gave up everything for me. The one who knew I’d sin against Him but still willingly went to the cross and stayed there. The one who has blessed me when I didn’t deserve it. I think about HIs love, grace, compassion and care for me and it makes it a lot easier for me to be thankful, joyful and happy about life everyday. My life isn’t perfect and many situations I deal with are not optimal situations, but I have found that keeping Jesus on the brain helps me to see the beauty in life and not just focus on the bad.
Learning to be content no matter what is amazing. It is something that can only come from God changing us and taking away our anxiety and replacing it with His peace. Try these things and see how your begin to view life differently.