Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Do you know about the book Jesus Calling? It's a book of short devotions with something written for each day of the year. The thing that makes it unique is that it's written as if Jesus is talking to you (which perhaps sounds odd if you've never read it but I promise it's not). I would say some of the major themes are trust, thankfulness, and peace. A special friend gave me my copy a few years ago when I was going through a hard time and I can definitely say it's my favorite devotion book. 

Something I really enjoy doing is going back and looking at what I highlighted or underlined in past years. It makes me remember things that I've gone through before and I feel so thankful for God's faithfulness.  Yesterday I was reading and something stood out to me:

"Accept each day just as it comes to you. Do not waste your time and energy wishing for a different set of circumstances. Instead, trust Me enough to yield to My design and purposes. Remember that nothing can separate you from My Loving Presence; you are mine."

In my book I had underlined the part that I've underlined here.  I bet I underlined that two or three years ago, and oh boy, did I need to underline that back then. I also needed to write it on 500 sticky notes and post them all around me and tattoo it to my body. And I still need to remind myself of it often. 

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's gone through a time of discontentment. There are some circumstances that we can reasonably make an effort to change, but I'm thinking of situations that we can't necessarily control. We can find ourselves feeling discontent about a huge variety of things and it can lead to lots of different feelings--frustration, sadness, impatience, helplessness, comparison, and loneliness come to my mind.  

And certainly we are right to not be ok with our circumstances sometimes. There's nothing wrong with doing our best to make a negative thing better. But after we've done that and things still haven't improved, well, if we're not careful the discontentment might come. And it seems to me that if we hang out in the land of discontentment too long, it's easy for resentment to set in. After resentment comes bitterness, and being bitter leads to nothing good. The worst thing about all these negative feelings is that they don't change a thing. They don't improve our situation at all--they suck our joy, keep us feeling bad, and might even cause us to miss out on something that we need to learn.

This isn't a fun or easy idea, not at all. But I think sometimes we have to make a decision to try our best to take our eyes off the bad and refocus them on the good. To remember God's faithfulness and count our blessings.  Here are a couple of verses that I think can be especially powerful in a season of discontentment:

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

"I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old." Psalm 77:11

"For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth." Job 19:25

On days when we're not sure of anything else, we can be sure that God is always good, is always for us, and that He will finish the work He started in us. And that is a reason to be thankful indeed.


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