Gratitude overflows from a heart humbled and captivated by gospel grace. It is an expression of faith that also deepens faith. What happens when we embrace an attitude of gratitude? Our focus becomes reoriented. Our gaze shifts away from our selfish tendency to think that we need more in order to humbly celebrate all that God has done, is doing, and will do for us in Christ.
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. – Phil.4:11
If you could use one word to describe people today, what would it be? I’m pretty sure that angry would be high on the list. Worried or depressed would certainly get honorable mentions as well. But if I had just one word to describe the dominant mood of folks in our culture, I’d probably say discontent.
There’s a pervasive restlessness, anger, and frustration in our society that’s palpable. Everywhere we go, we see people who aren’t satisfied or at rest with their present situation. The problem isn’t just “out there” in the unbelieving world. It’s widespread in the church as well. The truth is, most of us reading this article are probably struggling with discontentment. I know I’ve been.
Webster defines discontentment as “uneasiness or inquietude of mind; dissatisfaction at any present state of things.” Discontentment is the belief that we would be truly satisfied if our present situation was different. Discontentment says that we need something more, something different, or something better in order to be happy.
In other words, discontentment is unbelief in the goodness of God’s character and providential orchestration of our lives.
Why Are We So Discontent?
The Preacher said in Ecclesiastes that “all things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing (1:8).” Naturally, no one’s satisfied with what they have. We’re covetous, always on the lookout for something other than what we have in the elusive quest for satisfaction. The ironic thing is, the more we get what we want, the more discontent we become. Why? Because nothing apart from Christ really satisfies.