Todd Stiles   -  

Allow me a few paragraphs to remind us all again of some core truths Travis rehearsed yesterday with us when we gathered, truths that need repeated regularly.

One of those is that a strictly horizontal, earthly perspective can lead to a rather discontented attitude. Asaph, a musician during David and Solomon’s reign, knew the feelings of this discontentment and the cementing effect they can have upon our attitude. Psalm 73 gives us a glimpse into his heart’s questions and frustrations.

“Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world … truly I have cleansed my heart in vain.”

Sounds like a frustrated and discontented man, doesn’t it?  But haven’t we all felt that way at one time or another? Ever wonder why…

·      the drunken driver rarely gets killed, only the innocent on-comer?
·      you miscarried when thousands of ungodly parents have healthy, little children?
·      your wife was diagnosed with cancer while your neighbor’s wife, who never gives God a single thought, looks healthier and younger as each day passes?
·      you lost your job to a humanistic, selfish, dishonest businessman who thinks only of the bottom line — money?
·      your family can’t seem to make ends meet while the friends down the street purchase a new car each year?
·      your teenager can’t seem to find a good part-time job for the summer, yet your boss’s kid is working mornings and evenings and making more money than you?

There’s no doubt about it – it’s easy to let our perspective get out of line, isn’t it?  And when it does, we begin to feel like we have sought God for nothing. When we start to compare what we don’t have physically to what others have, we’re seeing short-term. In reality, we already own what they actually need – a living relationship with Almighty God!

Don’t worry or fret. Yes, Asaph felt that way; he knew the emotions of discontentment.  But only for a moment.  Notice his relief:

“Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end…nevertheless I am continually with thee … whom have I in heaven but thee?”

When you feel like you’re about to be swallowed whole by the waves of jealousy and discontentment, make your way to the heavenly shore and bask in the Sonlight of Jesus!  That’s the quickest and best way to rid yourself of those feelings.  Why?  Because when we see ourselves in Jesus, we see ourselves complete and contented.  We need nothing when we have Him; He is all we need.

Making our time with God a priority is necessary if we are to ever become contented Christians.  If our perspective is to remain clear and on target, we must know the importance of spending time in the presence of God.  For in His presence all things, all possessions, all materials, all people, all ambitions, and all desires lose their seemingly crucial importance and we gain a clear vision of the only One we really need: God!

As David the Psalmist extolled, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want!” (Ps. 23:1)

·      Name three things that create unrest within you, things that cause you to question your contentment.
·      Connect contentment and choices. How do these words relate? How do our choices affect our contentment?
·      Consider those you love the most – are they cemented in jealousy or contented with Jesus? Why or why not?
·      What could you do this week to help move someone from a state of “cementment” to a state of “contentment?”

Pastor Todd