Apr 7, 2017

Satan's Game of Discontent

By Monique Miller

Comparing our own lives to others’ is a dangerous game Satan plays in the minds of Christians--and we always end up the loser. Many situations in life don't seem fair. We try to make sense of why it appears others have been blessed more than we have.

Perhaps you want blessings you believe would benefit your family in a positive and good way. A friend announces on Facebook that her family is taking a family trip to Disney World and you can barely put food on your table. Or you notice your neighbor's husband is always home by supper time while you are routinely flying solo with the kids to battle out supper, homework, baths, evening devotions, etc.--knowing full well your husband won't return from work until the late hours of the evening. Or perhaps, you've been married over a decade and the Lord has not yet blessed you with the gift of children, while your sister has a house brimming with little ones.

Providing for your families' needs, quality family time, the blessing of children--all these things are good and honorable things and we believe we deserve them. So why is it that our Lord sometimes withholds these good things from us? How are we to make sense of God's mysterious economy of dishing out blessings?

We don't realize how dangerous complaining and grumbling toward God really is. We legitimize and justify our complaining. We consider it a small offense because; after all, the blessings we seek from God are things we should have! Dear sisters, don't be mistaken. Grumbling and complaining is no small offense in the eyes of our Lord. Complaining is what caused the Israelites to never enter Canaan. God provided for the Israelites by giving them manna from heaven. Food that fell from the sky! And yet, how long did it take for them to begin to grumble and complain because they grew tired of it and wanted meat. We learn later the Lord did end up giving the Israelites the meat they demanded. Yet it turned out not to be a blessing but a curse for their grumbling. He gave them so much meat that it literally made them sick.

The manna that fell from heaven was the actual blessing from God. It was God's provision for them. And yet, they were not content and walked away from God's blessing. We are all guilty of this same discontent. Are we seething in anger and bitterness because our Lord has not given us blessings we believe we deserve? Do we harbor resentment because we believe others have more? Do we foster the same pride as the Israelites by believing the lies of the devil that somehow God is unfair and we deserve more than what He has given us? This discontent can poison our very soul, reap a toxic atmosphere in our families and ultimately destroy us.


We simply don't know why our Lord chooses to bless others and withhold those same blessings from us. There are so many questions that can't be answered this side of heaven. As Christians we can be bold in our prayers and plead with Him to change our situations. But remember, God does not cause all these things that make our life hard, but He does sometimes permit them because as Christians we need to continually learn to live by faith in this fallen world. Sometimes our Lord will use a short-term affliction to accomplish a long-term good. Sometimes He uses us as a witness to others. Many times we discover that the most difficult experiences in life end up being the most rewarding. Motherhood is a great example. Motherhood can be excruciatingly difficult, and yet at the same time, it's also breathtakingly beautiful.

During these times of affliction or suffering, rest assured that our Lord does not leave us to ourselves. He shares every step with us. He gives us the opportunity to strive and labor towards maintaining a calm and quiet spirit through times of affliction. God takes our suffering and makes good of it. Through our trials God can foster our faith in a new heaven and new earth and the resurrection of the body where there is no more suffering.

When your mind echoes toxic discontentment, pray to the Lord that He will soften your heart. When God in His wisdom decides to shower blessings on a sister's head--rejoice with her. Don't be blind to see God's own blessings right in front of you. Fall on your knees in repentance. Turn towards God's blessings with open, cupped hands and in humility with thanksgiving. Pray boldly and petition our Lord for all the desires of your heart, but also maintain a disposition of acceptance towards God, not disputing or resisting.

Are you weeping tears of bitterness? Put your hope in the promises of our Risen Savior. “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.” (Psalm 126:5)

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow'r.

LSB 765:3, “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”


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Monique is a homemaker and mother to eight children- 5 sons and 3 daughters. She resides in northeastern Kansas where her husband serves as a Lutheran Pastor.

3 comments:

  1. Of course when I started reading this I had the perfect person in mind to send it too. Thankfully I quickly realized I was the one who needed the massage.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such an important reminder. Thank you.๐Ÿ’—

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for this wonderful article! Kelly Jo

    ReplyDelete

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