It seems there are very few people who are consistently content with life. It's more common to be up and down mentally and emotionally, depending on what our circumstances are. So I want to ask you: How content are you? Are you consistently enjoying your life?
God loves us and has a good plan for our lives. Jeremiah 29:11 says His thoughts and plans for us are "for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome" (AMP). And John 10:10 says Jesus "came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)" (AMP).
It was such a revelation for me when I realized that God wants me to enjoy my life now, and not just barely get by, hanging on until I get to Heaven. It was also a life-changing revelation when I understood that my joy and contentment don't have to be based on my circumstances. In Christ, I can learn "how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am" (Philippians 4:11 AMP).
What Does it Mean to Really Be Content?
Being content doesn't mean you never want change or to have anything else in your life. It means you can be satisfied to wait with a good attitude for whatever God chooses to do in your life. It means that even when you want something to happen, you still trust God enough to believe that if He doesn't give you what you want, He has your best interest at heart. And you'll find that what He gives you is better than what you thought you wanted to begin with.
The world is full of problems, and we all have times when things don't go the way we planned. It's so wonderful when you get to the point that you can be happy even when you don't get your way!
I've learned that since the world probably isn't going to change, then I need to change my approach to circumstances—my attitude and my expectations. And it was a great breakthrough for me when I discovered that God wants me to have great expectations of Him. He wants me to put all of my hope in Him and exercise my faith in Him to do great things in my life.
What Does God Want to Do for You?
Ephesians 3:20 says that God's power that is working in us "is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]" (AMP). I love these words: superabundantly, far over and above ALL that we dare to ask or think!
It's so important for us to put our expectations in the right place—in God. We serve an awesome God, and I want to encourage you to ask Him to do great things in you and through you.
What are you asking God to do for you? Do you believe He loves you unconditionally and He has great plans for you? Do you trust Him to take care of your needs and that everything He asks you to do is for your good?
We need to resist thinking that God can't do anything for us because of our weaknesses and faults. He isn't expecting us to be perfect; He wants us to have faith in Him.
God wants us to put ALL of our hope and ALL of our expectation in Him. He wants us to trust Him to do what's best for us in the way He chooses to do it. He wants us to give Him the credit for the good things He does in our lives.
Are You Putting Your Expectation in God?
Sometimes we are discontent and disappointed because we think we're expecting something from God but in reality, we're expecting someone else to give it to us. For example, we pray for a raise or promotion and don't get it so we get mad at our boss. Or we ask God to make our children behave better or our spouse to be more sensitive and thoughtful and when they don't do what we want, we get mad at them.
We need to look to God to provide what we need and what we want. This means we trust Him, no matter what other people do or what circumstances look like. It's not wrong to put realistic expectations in the people we have relationships with, but no one is perfect, and people will disappoint us sometimes. We can get rid of a lot of disappointment and discontentment by learning how to put our hope and expectation in God first and foremost.
God cares about everything about you and everything that concerns you. He wants to be good to you and He will never disappoint you. Give Him all of your heart and put all of your hope and expectation in Him. You can have true contentment and satisfaction in Christ!
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and You Can Begin Again (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit joycemeyer.org.