Contentment, Part Five

The Source of Discontentment

Why do we as believers often struggle with discontentment? What is the source of discontentment? In Part Four, we looked at the character of God as the foundation for contentment and how most times, people lack knowledge of God’s identity, God’s nature, and God’s character. Simply put, the consistency of our contentment rests on our belief in God’s sovereignty over all things. As sinners, our presence in a fallen world skews our vision of God’s bigger story and eternal future. When we are discontent, we are saying the cross of Christ is insufficient. Unbelief is the source of discontentment.

Have you ever questioned something God was doing in your life? Do you have a tendency to look back on trials and see them differently once they have passed? When we view ourselves as possessing more wisdom than God, it leads us to doubt God and His plans for us. When our theology is even a click off, we can never be content with this incorrect theology’s improper view of God and ourselves. Instead, we should not look to be wise in our own eyes, but rather to fear the Lord, trusting the fact that our true contentment only comes from Him. A. W. Pink writes, “The permanence of God’s character guarantees the fulfillment of his promises.” When we are discontent, we are questioning God’s character, His sovereignty, and His goodness. Lest we not forget that even our hope for the future (as Christians) is dependent upon the character of God and who He says He is.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. 

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Pr 3:5–8). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

This world is not our home. This knowledge should inform us how to live in the present. Our discontentment is a reflection of unbelief. A heart that believes God, a heart that is under the authority of His word, will demonstrate their belief in Him with contentment that flows outward. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. If we do not believe God, holding fast to His promises, then we will see the effects of unbelief in a life lived in discontentment.

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. 

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Lk 6:45). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Throughout our lifetimes God works to sanctify us and make us look more like Christ. A present time of sanctification is unable to give us the same satisfaction that our future glorification will. We should take comfort that God is working all things together in and for His plan for the ultimate good of those who are in Christ Jesus. Our purpose is significant, yet we have a tendency to place greater value on what God is doing in the lives of others. We are called to trust Christ and the purpose He has for us, and to value ourselves in union with Christ.

Discontentment forgets what Christ has already done for us on the cross in our past, and instead looks to selfish desires of what else Christ can do for us. A gospel-centered look at the cross alleviates worries and anxieties. Realization of a discontented heart calls Christians to repentance, gratitude, and humility. Reflection of all that Jesus has done for us is good news, because we are sinners saved by grace. He is working all things for our good and His glory. We can trust Him and be content in this life.

Do you ever minimize the sin of discontentment? How does confessing this sin help us to understand the Gospel better? We can trust God to help us grow in spiritual maturity (Matt. 6:33-34). For further study, read Genesis 3:1-6.