Defeating Discontentment, Part 1

Gwen Smith Blog, contentment, Knowing God by Name 29 Comments

I am a lot of things, but low maintenance is not necessarily one of them. Straight up, I am a girl with some constant cravings. Though I try to savor life moments with gratitude, I fail all the time.

Many days, I find myself looking beyond my now to my next, longing in discontent.

I seek God’s blessings instead of seeking God.

I seek His hand instead of His heart.

This frazzles my peace and messes with my joy. It tangles my heart in knots until I begin to dance through my days to the tune of, “I can’t get no satisfaction!”

Why do we often desire God’s presents in our lives more than His presence?

Isn’t that what we do when we stomp our feet before His throne and grumble about all of the things that need fixing instead of praising Him for the strength He graciously gives us to get through? While we’re certainly encouraged by Scripture to make our requests known to the Father (Philippians 4:6), the highest calling on our lives is to love God with all of our hearts, souls, bodies and minds (Matthew 22:37). We can do both, but we are commanded to seek God first: to look to Him as our Ultimate. Our Portion.

Asaph wrote Psalm 73 with a lot on his mind. He was flustered about all the bad people around him. He wondered why God wasn’t smacking them around for being so wretched and was struggling to keep his eyes on his own life. Sound familiar?

Then his woes turned to worship as he entered into the sanctuary of God (v17). His heart began to untangle as he remembered God’s sovereignty. In Psalm 73:26, he finally landed in a good place. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
           
He took a deep breath and found his God-confidence.

Oh, how I can relate to that!

The Bible shows us time and time again that when we prioritize God – when we look to Him to be our Portion – we are supernaturally equipped to be satisfied in Him.

Do you remember that old hymn His Eye Is On The Sparrow?

Girlfriend, God doesn’t miss a trick. He knows what’s going on.

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘what will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
(Matthew 6:30-34, NLT)

 

If divine eyes rest on tiny sparrows and flowers of the fields, how much more are the needs and desires of God’s children known to Him?

 

Dear Lord,
Would You be my Portion today? Help me to trust Your plan and rest in Your grace – beyond what I see or feel.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

Read Psalm 73.

Consider these questions. How has God met your needs in the past? Do you trust that He is able to meet them today? Let’s take the conversation deeper. Click here to tell me what that might look like for you.

Love you so much!

GWEN


Are you struggling to trust that God can actually be your Portion? Think His promises are for everyone but you? Learn how God wants to bring you beyond your past heart-wounds and your present challenges to His wholeness, strength and beauty by listening to the latest episodes of the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith Podcast.

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Comments 29

  1. Thank you for this devotional.
    Really uplifting.
    I will be sharing your devotional to the women’s when we get together.
    God bless you more!

  2. I am a few days behind in my readings so just read this one. God has met my needs in the past by giving me the strength to deal with the failing of my marriage and my total collapse after finding out my husband of 32 years was having an affair. He ended the affair immediately after I discovered it, and swore he wanted to remain married to me, but after a month or two, he really started pulling away from me and basically was deciding whether or not to divorce me. Needless to say, I was in an emotional and physical turmoil unlike anything I had ever dealt with in my life. It took me about 8 months, but I got to a place of peace through God and my faith. Thankfully, God has intervened and a little over a year ago, my husband had a change of heart about divorcing me, and we are working on restoring our marriage. In that, I have found that my focus on God has dwindled, and I find myself again in a place of uncertainty, stress (worrying that my husband might still divorce me), and just not feeling peace at all. It is all a constant struggle and my fears most times take over and I forget the blessings God has bestowed upon me. One of the reasons my husband changed his mind about divorcing me is because he noticed a change in me. I was smiling again, acting lighthearted, in other words, the wife he fell in love with. I truly felt transformed through the love and strength I found in my renewed Faith. Granted, there was no excuse for his affair, but I do know that I, too, contributed to the demise of our marriage which brought us to the horrific, nightmarish choice my husband made. Anyway, now, things aren’t progressing as quickly as I would like and I find myself feeling insecure, feeling doubt, hurt again, etc. I realize I am starting to turn back in to that person that my husband didn’t like before, and quite frankly, neither did I. I know what I should be doing and need to do immediately…put my focus back on God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and ask them for guidance through this difficult time. I need to remember to trust God to take care of this. While I know this, I find it difficult to do so. I think about it all of the time, but I do not act upon those thoughts of listening to sermons, studying my Bible, and spending quiet time on my knees praising my Savior. Reading this message from you has helped me. I took the time reflect on your questions, and feel a bit more strength as I try to continue this journey. Now I will read Part 2 of your message.

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      Rae Ann,

      WOW, girl. What a powerful testimony of the way the Spirit of GOD at work within you and your marriage. Praying for you now!

      GWEN

  3. I’m so grateful for this devotion. God has certainly did things for me in the past that only He could do. I need to remember how He’s always looked out for me..This devotion helped me realize that more. I thanks God for GIG..

  4. This is such an awesome and on-time devotion. Thank you for penning what women need to constantly hear and be reminded of!!

  5. Very timely as I am quarantined but my 69 year old husband is going each day to the hospital where he is a chaplain to lift others up. The U of MN Medical Center is the hub for the Coronavirus. Trusting God for peace and protection. Thank you

  6. Wow Gwen …..I’m Blown away by the Scripture of Psalm 73 & the Specific verse that Confidently spoke to my heart & would was 73:25 “ whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon the earth 🌍 that I desire besides you”. ❤️🙆🏼‍♀️ 💡 moment for me. Such beautiful Passage and Love how it ties in with your Blog email🎉🎉👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻💯

  7. Thank you for reminding me that My Heavenly Father will meet all my needs.Even with the uncertainty (coronavirus) in the days ahead,I know I can trust my Redeemer, Healer, Creator, the lover of my soul. Thank you for these daily devotions.

  8. Im so thankful that God is always a step ahead! Yes, I’ve had to wait on things in my life to change and it wasnt easy, but God still gave me the grace and granted me mercy until everything started to come together. Im always reminder that He will never leave nor forsake me. So I know He watches over me and is ordering my steps perfectly in my waiting period (JAMES 1:2-4).

  9. God has been part of me since before I realized it and when, even though we went to church, my family didn’t have as deep a personal relation with Him as I did. He has gone before me putting situations and entering thought processes into my spirit when, many times, I didn’t even know it. He speaks so softly and steps so tenderly. Later I would look back when in a situation or time of either testing or hard times and said, “Oh, I see. That’s why I went through that time before – to prepare me for this very time!” He is so wonderful to prepare us, guide and lead us, and to bring us through to the other side of Every Step of our lives.
    Other times He has brought others in to my life and/or spoken to me personally. He is wonderful. Even when I have no detection of Him, He is there.
    I have Always struggled with enabling/co-dependency. It has taken 70 yrs to bring me to relying on Him solely in that area. I am grateful. My children are in His hands, I am to trust and obey Him, and to live my life as a testament to Him. He will do the rest. Bless His Holy Name.

  10. I think of all the things God has brought me through. I’m 53 and as I read this study I realized his portion, strength and grace has brought me through from the moment of childhood to now and things to come. So many times I have got caught up in self pity, frustration, fear worrying and asking myself , MYSELF, how am I gonna deal and get through then and after it’s over it was his Grace. I’m learning to let my spirit control my soul (mind,will and emotions). Your spirit has to rise above your flesh.

  11. Thank you, this ministry has been a safe harbor and a place of peace during many of my rough patches for many years. Blessings of health and safety to the entire crew!

  12. Hello,
    1st time commenting. I am learning that Abba is in the details of my life….coincidence is not by chance, but His ‘thumbprint’ that He sees. Woke up today at 7:33, read Ps 73:3 first, then all of it. That Psalm answered a specific issue I prayed about. Lately I have been seeing/hearing, “keep your eyes on Him,” and His presence is my reward. A couple months ago, my bro-n-law brought home 60 rolls of TP that he got for $1. He’s an over the road truck driver. With all the panic buying of paper products, Abba let us know that in fact HE IS IN THE DETAILS, from sparrows even to something seemingly insignificant as TP, He knew & provided, and we didn’t even pray for it. How awesome HE IS! Your devotion today about Ps 73 was another thumbprint. Thank you.

  13. Thank you! During these very uncertain times and our world going crazy about a virus I found your words spot on!

  14. Gwen, boy did I need to read this tonight! My daughter and I are very close. She has stage 2 breast cancer at 37 now she is 39. She has had chemo for 2 years and a full mastectomy. She has two wonderful daughter’s that love her unconditionally 10 & 5 and a wonderful husband. We love our Lord but she is so afraid the cancer will come back. The fear is controlling at times like a cloud over her head..how do I console her when we know God has her in His arms but the fear is , well I can’t describe it at times..

  15. God has gotten me through so many rough times in the past, there is no way I can recount them all-an abusive relationship, a divorce, the deaths of my parents, multiple deployments for my son, my children’s divorces, an almost death experience, and the extreme fear it could happen again. As hard and traumatic as each of these things was, I cried out to God for help and he was always there to get me through. There is no way I survived all these things without Him. Now every time I am going through a rough time, I remind myself that God knows what I need, and he will take care of me.
    Now I need to trust him to give me the strength, courage and wisdom to be the support for my daughter if she is unable to have the baby she so desperately wants. I keep reminding myself that he has a plan, it may not be our plan, but he knows all, and we don’t. I just need to trust him, and pray that my kids will learn to do the same.
    Thank you, Gwen, for all your words of encouragement!

  16. God has met my needs in the past by really digging into His Word, praying and more praying and even crying out to Him. But also seeking Him daily. And having those intimate prayer times between me and my Heavenly Father.

  17. I just loved this devotion.

    The other night I was awake in the night and thinking about the fact I am forgetting a lot. I am getting dementia I think (I am 77) and God said to me
    “I know your name” and suddenly I was assured L: yes I may forget my name but God knows it and it is written in his book.

    THank you for jogging this memory. TBH I have not YET got dementia but the fear was gone and I keep saying to myself, He promises to know my name always,

  18. In the past, I was so lost and believing that my cousins were living the ‘high life’ since whatever bad things they did, I earned them quick money from anything and everyone they had a “relationship” with. But the Lord kept distracting me from believing in that lifestyle and told me to ‘Listen” to His Word. His signs were all around me. From me reaching up to him for help for having surgery at age 13, until reaching college and learning from my Supervisor at my job about Jesus Christ, I really felt good in the end. God has met my deeds, and I have been proud and happy to walk along side him all this time. 🙂

  19. The statement that was made heart being in knots is a perfect way of how my heart has been feeling, I have been feeling discouraged in my workplace I care for the elderly with dementia , It’s rewarding and challenging at times and working with coworker that have compassion and some not so much , workplace employee pay has also been an issue with being underplayed compared to other care facilities . This message has truly helped me see on how I’m feeling and a reminder that God sees and knows all, I look back to the times God has turned things around not how I was expecting but took the pressure off in the Circumstance I was in and taught me valuable lessons

  20. Hi Gwen,
    I enjoy your devotions. I feel like I am too old to comment about disappointing results in life. Especially since I also believe God has been such a great Father to me.
    I still find myself wondering toward the next adventure. I have to fight constantly for a right state of mind in Him, not look at my circumstances.
    Seeking God spiritually is the answer. Yet, living in the flesh makes me weak into disappointment. I fight every day, to stay focused. Especially in these times where the people seem to say reprobate mind is right and Gods way is wrong.
    We get bombarded with the wrong information. GODS WORD is the only way to Heaven. Jesus Christ provides that for us through Him suffering and died from the cross, yet remember, Jesus arose from the dead. Staying focused on He is not Dead, Jesus is living on the inside, roaring like a lion.
    We cant stop now, so much work to do. Where do we start?

  21. My main request for years is that my daughter & son in law come back to faith. I’ve prayed daily for this and know that God hears and will answer in His time, but get discouraged in the waiting. She just had a third miscarriage and I know they would find peace and hope in a God that has a plan for them if they just opened their hearts. I get down on myself that I haven’t had the right words to get a conversation going when I visit them.

  22. When I get discouraged, I feel incredibly sad. I know that having these feelings is not from God and like a little child who can disappoint our earthly parents, how much more do I disappointment my Father in heaven. It’s then that I look inward to my private place of worship, first thanking God for always being there and then I ask him to lift me up out of the depths of my disappointment and fill me with the light and love of Jesus. I let His joy enter and I feel His strength, I am so grateful! I once learned to use what I like to call ” the little finger rule”. Nothing negative can remain in me longer than my little finger. I have found remembering this helps guide me out of my disappointment much faster. It gives me a visual to focus on, Ot helps me remember to be grateful for everything in my life, no matter what. A smile is worth a thousand words! Amen.

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  23. I was 33 when I was born again and it wasn’t easy letting go and letting God. I was so discouraged, exhausted and ready to throw in the towel, but God wouldn’t let me. He loved me and loved on me so it was heaven on earth and then fast forward 14+ years later, my circumstances now seem worse than before, but God! I trust Him enough to know that it ain’t what it looks like and that makes a big difference. Even though it “look” like my life is a mess, I AM confident that it will transform into a beautiful message of God’s love, faithfulness, kindness, compassion and goodness to world! I love this study already lol. This is my first and I am looking forward to the rest of our journey. Thank you sister for sowing your time, talents and God’s word and love in my life 🥰

  24. When I get discouraged and to the point of crying my eyes out. I plead with God to please help me in this situation and when he shows up . I remember his faithfulness and how he always answers when I call on him. I need to trust him more & lean on him ❤️❤️ Thank you for all your words of encouragement and being a great steward for Christ Jesus. Love you 😘❤️ Gwen .

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      This is key, Anna Marie, It’s in the calling out to Him that opens our hearts to lean in more fully. Love you too, friend.

      GWEN

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