IS IT WRONG TO BE DISCONTENTED
WITH OUR LOT IN LIFE?
Esau was bought for a bowl of soup of pottage. He sold his birthright for a temporary cessation of hunger.
Judas sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. The price of buying a slave in that day. The religious leaders bought Jesus for what one could buy a common slave.
Many today will sell out their calling, sell out their Christianity, for financial gain.
How much will it take to buy you? The devil does not make the choice easy to turn down. It is not, ‘choose heaven or hell’. Nor does he put it, ‘choose a million dollars or sin.’ He may put it, as ‘choose a life of cross bearing, or some pleasures that you deserve.’ He may say, ‘do you choose to starve to death, or have T-bone steak?’ For Judas, it was ‘choose watching your hopes of Jesus being the Messiah go down the drain, or at least get 30 pieces of silver to try to compensate you for wasting the last three years of your life following One Who will not listen to your advice.’
Some count money, job, position, reputation, popularity, prestige, pleasures as more valuable than their calling, their salvation, their relationship with Jesus. They may be godly otherwise, but they are discontented in their godly living. It leads to great sins, if we are discontented.
"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
"He that seeks things good for himself shall lose them, he that gives up things loved for Me shall find true happiness.’
The rich young ruler wanted a good life. He also wanted to know he would have eternal life. The choice came down to having and maintaining all his gained riches, or having to take up a cross and follow Jesus. The easier way seemed to be the ‘good life’ of earthly riches. The price for having those, was more than he would pay today, knowing what he knows now.
Crosses that we must bear in life may vary. The cross we are given may include sickness, poverty, unpopularity, rebuke, scorn, etc. Many of the army of prophets would find it tempting to eliminate those from one’s life.
Solomon tried all he could try, experienced many things, and was the richest man of the world. He tried all, but found that all was vanity and useless.
Ecclesiastes 2:1-11, 12:13-14
"I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure... unto wine... folly... great works... houses... vineyards... gardens and orchards... pools of water... servants and maidens... great possessions... great and small cattle... silver and gold... peculiar treasure... men singers... women singers... delights of the sons of men..musical instruments... whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them... my heart rejoiced in all my labor... all was vanity.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, and with every secret thing, whether it be good or bad."
Abraham was offered the joy of life in prosperous Ur, and chose rather to live in a tent in a land unknown to him. Later, he could please God, or keep his son alive. He chose to offer his son.
Job said ‘though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.’ (Job 13:15)
Paul could have been a chief pharisee, and perhaps been the successor to Gamaliel. But he chose rather to suffer shipwreck, hardships, imprisonment, hatred, persecution, and finally was beheaded.
John was put into boiling oil, yet lived. He was exiled on Patmos. Yet, he refused to deny his Lord and Savior.
Daniel could have escaped the lion’s den. Yet, he would not choose to cease praying.
The three Hebrew children chose the fiery furnace over having to bow to a false god.
Stephen could have had friendships and stature in the religious community, but he chose to preach the truth. Therefore, he was stoned.
We will be tempted to be discontented many times in our lives. We need to withstand that temptation, and reject it.
I Peter 1:7
"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold, that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto the praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.’
God brought Abraham to a great test. God asked for Isaac. Would Abraham trust the Lord? Abraham said to him, ‘My son, God will provide Himself a lamb.’ (Genesis 22:8)
"He staggered not at the promise of God, through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully persuaded, that what He had promised, He was able also to perform.
Joseph faced a great test. How could he resist great temptation? Potiphar’s wife could cost him his life, his freedom, if he did not succumb to here seduction. But Joseph said ‘how can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Genesis 37:9)
Esther was under similar pressure. A man threatened her and her people. Her answer was ‘if I perish, I perish’. (Esther 4:16) She stood firm and refused to succumb to the selling out.
Job was pressured to succumb and ‘curse God and die’. But He said ‘though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.’ (Job 13:15)
Discontentment will try to bring us to failure and ruin. We need to be strong against it.
II Corinthians 4:17
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.’
God wants us to prove true and strong. Jesus faced death for us, He warned us that to follow Him, meant taking up a cross too. Jesus dying meant great glory for this world, and if the army of prophets have to face death, it should also bring glory to the kingdom.
There is no reward without suffering. We are told that plainly, and yet many try to find a Christian experience that is wealth, health and fame, rather than suffering, sacrifice and cross-bearing.
"Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, shall keep it unto life eternal.’
I Corinthians 15:57
"But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.’
I John 5:4
"This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.’
Hebrews 13:5 (KJV)
5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
We do not need to have a life of worry, if we set our values on heavenly gain. Jesus is going to be watching out for us, if we make His priorities to be ours. There is a commercial that says ‘you are in good hands with ....’ Well, you are in far, far better hands when you are in God’s hands.
And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
We cannot add 18 inches to our height by concentrating on growing. How then can we control events of life, actions of thieves and murderers, growth of the dow jones, interest rates at the banks. We are powerless over the weather, the stock market, the wars and changes in governments. But, if we put ourselves in God’s hands, lay our treasures up in heaven where moths and corruption do not occur, where thieves cannot steal what we have, we are in fine shape.
Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these
Instead of considering this world and the promises of riches here, consider God, His goodness, His works, His love, His promises to never let us down, never let us be begging for bread. Even the lilies, the birds, the beasts of the field, do not worry, do not fear. God is clothing the fields with flowers, why would He not make sure we are clothed and fed?
If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will He clothe you, O ye of little faith?
And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Jesus called those who were obsessed with earthly riches, who had worry if their wallets were not overflowing, to be ‘o ye of little faith’. Our seeking needs to be for God, for the kingdom of God, and then He will add all those other things we need to us.
We need to spend our energies in seeking God and His righteousness and the other things will be added.
We are commanded to not be doubtful. This is the Greek word, meteorizo (G3349), meaning to fluctuate, be anxious, or be carried about as meteors moved about with the currents, tossed up and down between hope and fear.
Some in seeking money and wealth, use enchantments, the practice of magical arts. Some even resort to witchcraft and sorcery, the practice of dealing with evil spirits. Some try divination, the use of mystic fortune telling. Some try magic, using rabbits feet, star gazing, lucky shirts, magic sayings, charms, horoscopes, omens, signs, etc to aid them in seeking prosperity.
All those practices are carried on in connection with demons, called familiar spirits. Covetousness can lead to such horrible sins.
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
We are God’s little flock, born-again Christians, chosen and blessed by our Good Shepherd, waiting to be taken to the heavenly fold.
Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Our financial plan is to be giving, sharing, and lay up treasures in heaven. God forbids hoarding. The idea is not to covet, but to provide for others, to be a giving and generous person. I have heard that some waitresses hate to work Sundays, for even their tips are far less then, than any other time to work as a waitress. Is that true? Are Christians, after a Sunday morning sermon, spending a fortune on their dinners, but cheating the hard working waitress of a decent and generous tip?