When I was 12, I was eager for the arrival of my 13th birthday because I wanted to be a teenager. When birthday number 15 arrived, I began the countdown to February 16, 1969. I wanted to be 16 so I could drive.
At some point along the path of my life, I quit rounding up. I was no longer worried about being 12 1/2 or 15 1/2. Even though the want and desire to be a year older lessens with age, it seems that much of a person’s life is spent wanting more of one thing and less of another.
Life can be frustrating. I’ve always wanted fewer calories, another dip of ice cream, and more hot fudge to top it all off.
If you spend your life longing for riches galore, you may have less and end up poor. Jesus focused on this issue, when He asked: “What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”
The focus of our energy shouldn’t be just worldly goods. Paul said our focus should be in another direction: “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” Since the key to contentment is the content of your life, what are you full of?
The pages of the Bible are littered with the names of discontented people who allowed their desires and longings to rule them:
• God gave Adam and Eve everything with the exception of fruit from one tree. Because they weren’t satisfied, humanity died.
• Jacob wanted more and through an act of deception he ran off with the birthright that belonged to his brother.
• Joseph’s brothers wanted more attention from their father and less interference from their little brother, so they sold Joseph as a slave.
• Samson was the strongman of his day and could whip anyone or anything, except his desires. He was a puny 90 pound weakling when it came to controlling them.
• The list wouldn’t be complete without mention of David. He was king and had everything he desired. Things were going great until he desired another man’s wife—Bathsheba.
The discontentment of the soul is the hollowness of humanity. It is a hunger pang that can only be satisfied by tasting the Bread of Life. It is the thirst of dry throats and parched lips that can only be quenched by the Water of Life.
Saul was driven by the awful power of discontent. He was searching for that elusive something to satisfy his deepest longings. What Saul did not realize is that while he was searching, Jesus was seeking, and when the two of them met on the Damascus Road, Saul had a truly life-changing experience.
Later Paul (Saul) would write: “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:11-13).”
You can search the world over, but you will never find anything that will fulfill you and complete you. The only hope for true contentment is a relationship with Jesus Christ. The Psalmist expressed this in Psalm 62 where he spoke of God as being his rock, fortress, and salvation.
If you’re unsatisfied and searching, there is hope, and His name is Jesus.