Monday, June 24, 2013

Learning to Love Where You Are

About six years ago, we were close to living our dream of buying land and moving to the country. We found breathtaking rolling hills with lush shades of green wherever we looked.

Unfortunately, circumstances arose that prevented us from making that purchase and realizing our long-held dream. My heart was sick. I ached to live in the midst of such immense beauty.

I came to the realization that I could not remain in that deplorable state. I needed to learn to love where I was. I needed contentment.  Thankfully, God showed me the path to becoming content, and now I do love the place I am, and thank Him every day for where we are.

Are you facing a disappointing situation? Do you wish you lived elsewhere? Do you realize  that it is actually possible to learn contentment? (… I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  Phil. 4:11) Let me share with you what I learned about achieving contentment:

1. Ask God for contentment. This first step seems obvious, but it is surprising how we rarely do it! Pray continually, and keep God always in the front of your mind. He loves to lavish His beloved children with his bountiful grace, and will be happy to grant this gift to us, if only we ask!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Eph.1:3

 2. Give thanks in everything… no matter what your circumstances.  I cannot overstate this enough.
“God has yet to bless anyone except where they are. And if we faithlessly discard situation after situation, moment after moment, as not being right, we will simply have no place to receive His Kingdom into our lives.” ~Dallas Willard

Not only are we commanded to do it, but it is amazing how being thankful in everything can totally change our perspective and bring abiding joy. It is impossible to make yourself feel joyful, but you can become joyful by practicing thankfulness and gratitude.

“...the secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt He is.”
“Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle.”  ~Ann Voskamp
 3.  Open your eyes.  Look for the reasons why God may have you where you are at this time. It may not be obvious at first, and you may not ever know why in this lifetime, but if we don’t make a conscious effort to see God working and our role in what He is doing, then we will miss out on some incredible opportunities!

Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Heb.13:15-16

4.  Meditate on scriptures about thankfulness. Fill and transform your mind with what God has to say about gratitude. The scriptures are filled with instructions to rejoice, and for good reason!

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.  Rom. 12:2

In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thess. 5:18

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.
Col. 4:2
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!  Phil. 4:4
Learning contentment will bring you abundant joy and change your life!  Many times circumstances only last for a season, so just because you are at a particular place at this time of your life, it does not mean that it will last forever. Do I still dream of moving to the country? Certainly!  One day we just might. But can I be content if I never do? Absolutely!

Linked up at:A Wise Woman Builds her Home
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