Unfulfilled Desires vs. Contentment

I have two strong unfulfilled desires.  One has sprung up fairly recently; one has been in my heart for over a decade.  Both desires I believe were placed in my heart by God – for His purpose and glory – but  at this point, I am simply waiting for His timing.

Contemplating this one day, the thought struck me, How am I to reconcile these strong desires with being content at the same time?  Achieving contentment while living with unfulfilled God-placed desires seemed impossible. It was like mixing oil and water. 

Then I started contemplating two familiar verses in Philippians 4:

“I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” (v. 11b)

“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”  (v. 6, emphasis mine)

I considered that while I’m generally a thankful person toward others, I do not always have such a grateful heart on the inside.  Wanting to have everything “just right” or “my way” makes it difficult to be thankful when everything doesn’t align just as I think it should.

But I find it interesting that Paul exhorts us to be thankful in the midst of presenting our requests to God.  In the midst of.  Not as a side note. 

In my life, deciding to choose gratitude has been like deciding to exercise. It has been hard! Sometimes it’s easy to say, “No thank you. I’d rather wallow in self-pity today. Maybe tomorrow.”  Yet I find that the more I deliberately choose to be thankful, the more content I become.

I’d like to have some gratitude “exercising” partners! Who’s with me?

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4 thoughts on “Unfulfilled Desires vs. Contentment

  1. I am with you!! This verse has appeared to me in at least 4 different ways over the last 3 days. Coincidence? I think not!!

  2. I am with you and I am grateful for your diligence in studying, applying and communicating the word of God in practical ways that I can use in my life….your faithfulness challenges and encourages me. Bless you my friend.

  3. Yes! We are supposed to praise Him in all things, not just the things that seem to ‘go our way’. Lord help me to have a heart of gratitude and be an example for my children

  4. Pingback: Gratitude as a Lifestyle | Bibs and Aprons

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