Angry and Frustrated

Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward. Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God. For he will not often consider the years of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart.  Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 

Are you angry and frustrated much of the time? Does it seem like so many things are going against you? Do you find yourself thinking things like, I'd be happy, if I had just a little bit more (Insert one of the following) control, a little more power, a little bit more pleasure, a little bit more approval, a little more money, a better car, a bigger house, a husband, a child, a better job, could stay home and not work. 

When a person is discontent nothing is ever good enough or "right" enough for them.  

Like Israel of old, we can begin to treasure things that capture our hearts. 
Wanting a better job, a nicer husband or kids that are smart and obedient is not bad in and of itself, but an attitude of entitlement or demand that develops from wanting them leads a person down the path to destruction.

“Entitlement” or “demand” is what leads a married woman with a loving husband to commit adultery or seek pornography. She is looking for just a bit more pleasure, more comfort, and more excitement, or whatever she thinks she is entitled to.  It's also why popular people are never quite popular enough and become people pleasers to gain more approval.  It's why the powerful often desire more power or influence, and why the controlling person never has quite enough control.  These are some of the idols that will produce discontent.

We pursue treasures that really cannot be found, treasures that never truly satisfy and the harder we pursue them the more complex life becomes because sin complicates everything. Discontentment reveals a covetous heart.  Inside you want something God has not planned for you to have.   When you covet something you will allow the desire for what you want to govern your relationship with other people (and God).  When you covet it reveals that in your heart you value a particular thing over your relationship to the Lord. God's blessings are overlooked or forgotten as you want something better than what you have now.

I despise the feeling of discontent, yet I have to own it because I lived that way for a good number of years and I will tell you (as if you didn't already know) that it is a miserable way to go through life. I know my deceitful heart is prone to discontent and prone to covet and when the object of my affections does not materialize I'm prone to even greater discontent. For some reason we think the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Contentment is not easy to develop in life; in fact, we cannot develop it at all.

…for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. Phil 4:11

Contentment is learned, it is grown, it is found.  It comes as we resist the temptation to be anxious about all that we think we should have and don’t. Contentment comes as we examine our heart and through self-examination and the Word of God weed out the worldly thoughts, beliefs, and desires that lead us to become discontent with our worldly possessions.

Contentment grows through selflessness, and doing the will of God in our lives- even at personal cost to ourselves. Contentment is found in Christ alone. Just as Jesus found His contentment in the Father, we too must determine that our contentment will be found in who we are in Christ.

We will be content as God does His perfect work in our heart, digging, ferreting out the sinful idols that reside there, and knocking down the high places. As God reorients our entire being to be one that desires to bring Him glory by how we live this life until He takes us home into eternal life.