The other day I was having a conversation with a friend. He said to me that he just wishes she could have one break in his work situation – just one – and then things will go better. Just one lucky break. As I was driving home, I thought, “Will one break make everything right? Will things ever be better?”
Then I asked myself, “When will things be better? What needs to happen for everything to be right? Will real satisfaction ever be ours?”
Everyday, as Christians, we hear people we trust tell us to dream big. We must have God-sized dreams, and not settle for mediocrity – but aren’t we losing focus? Isn’t there a way to be content?
And being content – what does this word mean?
I have asked myself this question many times. Is contentment just a way of accepting mediocrity?Where you settle for less and stop dreaming for something better? Is it about giving up and just accepting your fate?
Let’s get practical for a moment.
Think about my friend, who wants just that one break from the hardship he experiences every day. He is unhappy at his workplace because it reminds him of his childhood playground. He thought that the day he left school would be the day all the bullying would stop and that things would be better. He would become an adult and would then be able to stand up for himself.
It was the opposite.It just became worse. He sometimes wishes she could bea child again so that at least there would bean excuse for not fighting back. How could life be so cruel?
There could be similar challenges in our lives. A boss does not give you the recognition you deserve or your colleagues do not see all your good effort. Your co-workers get all the praise and promotions, and you are feeling stuck. To put the cherry on the top, your financial situation is getting worse and worse.You cannot take care of your wife and children as you would want to, and you ask yourself, “Why me?”If only you could get that one break, that one break to set you up for the future.
Why do happiness and satisfaction always appear to elude you?
The truth is I think each one of us reading this –not only those with an unfair workplace – would like this “one break”. It’s in our nature to want more.
We have dreams of winning the lottery, receiving a promotion, or having obedient children. The list goes on and on. We think, “When I am in a better position at work or working in another division – then things will be better.Then I will definitely be content with my situation.”
And yes, you maybe right, it might be better. Still, how long do you think that “better” is likely to last?Even if it is better, wil lit be beneficial for you and will it be for the best?
I have come to know that contentment is about finding a place of peace in every situation. A peace that surpasses the understanding of our minds. This goes against human nature. It’s about being content in the midst of a storm. When you see everything around you as broken. When you stare unfairness and unrighteousness in the eye day by day.Yet,in the midst of this,you are at peace, not fighting the situation but embracing it.
You see, I have come to believe that contentment is important for your next season in life. And also for you to experience breakthroughs in your life.
So my answer to my friend was“No!!! It will not be better if you get that one break because life will always throw things at you. Life will always happen. You will always have opposition.” So then, what are our options? Should we just accept the things the way they are and not hope for better? My answer is yes and no.
Yes, accept your situation, but from God’s perspective. See every challenge, every struggle, and every opposition from God’s perspective. Position yourself next to Him and ask Him for His opinion about your situation.I am certain you will hear Him say something like this: “It is in your weakness I become strong. It is within your weakness I can work and you can bring me glory.”
God is saying, “My power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)
I have realized that it is in our human nature not to be happy or at peace with our current situation. We will always want to have more and better.Still, I believe the key lies with contentment. Am I satisfied with my situation because I know that God will always let everything work out for the best?(Romans 8:28). Do I know that His dreams for me are much better than my own dreams? (Isaiah 55:8, Jeremiah 29:11). Then, He can bring the breakthrough. In this, I can be content.
The breakthrough comes as I stop thinking about my situation and the ways things can be better. I ask, “How this can glorify His name? How will this affect His kingdom?” Then I will be at peace with my situation.When I am at peace with my situation, He will bring the breakthrough, and only then. When we are at peace with our current situation God will reveal the next season to us.
Because He knows then I will be able to face the things that lie ahead for me in my next season within the breakthrough.
To explain it a bit simpler. God knows He needs to “install”in us a part of His character that we will need in our next season. It is like when we upgrade a computer. If we install a new version on our computer, we need to complete all the updates before it can function well. It is the same with us. We cannot move on to the next season without God upgrading certain character traits in us.
Many times, we make a move before receiving all the necessary upgrades in our lives. Then usually we blame God if things do not work out. How do we know when is the right time to move? My answer is when we are content within our current situation. This is how we know that we have matured within our current season and are able to move into our next season.