In life we are bombarded with messages telling us what we need to be happy. We spend our lives in constant comparison to one another, thinking “I’ll be happy when…”. This need to measure up only shows us how short we fall in comparison. The need for more can never be satisfied because it’s like trying to fill a bottomless void. There will never be enough to fill it! Satan is the father of lies and a master of manipulation. Even in the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve truly had it all, Satan still succeeded in creating doubt and discontentment. The desire for more has always been our downfall.
Whoever loves money never has enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
This too is meaningless.
As goods increase,
so do those who consume them.
And what benefit are they to the owners
He begins by distorting our view of what we have and what we really deserve. We all know we will one day die, and seeing life as short makes us short-sighted. Our impatience and selfish natures cause us to fixate on the here and now, leaving us unable to see the bigger picture. Our self-imposed tunnel vision magnifies our insecurities and leaves us feeling inadequate. All of this makes us even more susceptible to the devil and the lies he tells us. We allow envy and jealousy to take root, as we believe we deserve more. As we covet our heart’s desires, we begin to resent God. Why would God withhold the very thing I need to be happy?!
The voice we here sounds like our own, so we falsely believe we’re in control. Satan promises us fulfillment, satisfaction, and happiness when we follow our own desires, but what he offers is merely an illusion. Satan doesn’t have to actually deliver on his promises. He only wants to make us doubt God’s intentions. Before we know it, we’ve prioritized our own desires over God’s will. Once we finally have what we want we feel happy or excited… for a time. But we also learn that this happiness never lasts long before discontentment returns and the cycle repeats. Satan promises us things he can’t deliver, but the mere promise is enough to tear us apart. We turn against each other, seeing others as a threat to our happiness. We blame others for our lack of fulfillment, but that’s just another lie. It is our own ceaseless desire for more that has made us dissatisfied with our current lives. In fact, as we attain more and more we begin to understand that nothing in this world satisfies.
God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor, so that they lack nothing their hearts desire, but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead.Ecclesiastes 6:2
In the end we come to realize the truth… lasting happiness apart from God doesn’t exist. This realization can either lead to despair or it can lead you back to God. True contentment does not come from anything on this Earth. Rather, contentment is a choice we make to remain focused on God and being thankful for the blessings we’ve been given. The apostle Paul put it like this:
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.Philippians 4:12-13
The best way to overcome discontentment is through thanksgiving. Thankfulness refocuses our perspective from what we are missing to all that we have. As we begin to count our blessings we are reminded of God’s enduring faithfulness and his love for us. We’re all immensely blessed through the sacrifice of Christ for our redemption. When we recognize our blessings and respond in praise, the voice of doubt and insecurity is silenced.