About a year ago, I read a book by Jerry Bridges Respectable Sins: Confronting The Sins We Tolerate. Convicting? Oh yes! He addresses many of the sins that we don't even call sins: impatience, discontentment, irritability, anger, anxiety, frustration, unthankfulness, etc. Wow, I see those things evident in my life way too much. His point of the book is that we have to call those emotions what they are: sin. We can't brush them off like they are no big deal, but remember they are sins against our Holy God.
One of the sins that has came to mind the most after reading the book is the sin of discontentment. For me, it is a sin that creeps up on me and before I know it, I am not happy with life. Anyone else feel this way? I begin to think that the grass is greener other places. Thankfully, the Lord doesn't leave me in that sinful place, and the Holy Spirit begins to convict me and remind me that I have nothing to be discontented about. It is so easy to focus on worldly things instead of focusing on the gospel.
What helps me fight against discontentment? Preaching the gospel to myself. When I begin to think about all that I have in the gospel - my sins completely forgiven, a perfect life lived for me, an eternity with Christ - what do I have to discontented about? Nothing! No matter how things are in this life, all will be right in the next life. Praying for persecuted believers. I live in a free country where no one will arrest me or kill me for owning a Bible or worshiping privately and corporately. When I begin to pray for those believers who are facing unimaginable horrors just because of the name of Jesus, I weep because of my sin. Who am I to deserve what I have? Recalling all my blessings. The Lord has blessed me with a godly, wonderful husband who loves me deeply. My boys are such a huge blessing to me and they are so healthy - what an amazing gift. I also have wonderful parents, extended family, and all the comforts of the modern world.
When I look at the above list, I am reminded once again that I have nothing to be discontented about. Life is not always going to be exactly the way I want it because we live in a sinful world. However, because of the cross there can always be contentment in my heart.
One last note, if you haven't read Jerry Bridge's book, you should!