A. Many times our favorite topics at parties, Bible studies, dinners, or any other time you get together with friends and/or family are our problems. How often have you heard (or participated in) the following conversation?
Person 1: How was work today?
Person 2: Oh, the same old grind, I just don't know how much longer I'll be able to put up with it. It just seems to be getting worse.
Person 1: Yeah, I know what you mean, would you believe that they are only giving us two days off for Christmas? And don't even ask me about our Christmas bonus.
Person 2: Christmas bonus? What Christmas bonus? Those tightwads wouldn't even think of giving us a bonus. Of course, they are taking a full week off, but what can us little guys expect? You only exist so that they can make the real profit.
Person 1: Well, if I could just get a transfer to a new department, then I wouldn't have to work with all those incompetents but as it is now, I do all my work and theirs too! And then comes time for evaluation, and they get better raises than I do!
Person 2: Well I just want another job altogether. I just hate working where I do. No-one is really friendly, the pay is lousy, they always make me do things their way which I know slows me down, and I get no respect or thanks for it when I get a job done.
B. Are you content with your life? What about your job? Your finances? Your health? Or. . .
1. Do you gripe and complain about all the things that are not `right' in your life?
2. Are you discouraged because it seem that things just aren't working out the way you wanted?
3. Does it ruin your day if something you had planned and really looked forward to falls through?
4. Do little irritations nag at you until they cause your attitude to sour and take the joy out of your life?
5. Does extra, unplanned, and urgent work or hassle get your goat and make you into a bear? Do you walk around as a roaring lion seeking whom you may devour?
6. If any of this sounds familiar, this sermon is for you. I wish to talk about contentment.
C. Contentment = Being satisfied with life, the absence of dissatisfaction.
1. It is the natural enemy of jealousy, envy, greed, covetousness, selfishness, and discouragement.
D. Two Frogs fell into a pail of milk
1. One got discouraged and croaked
2. The other thought, I may go down, but I'm going down fighting, and he kicked, and he kicked, and the next morning, they found him sitting on a pad of butter.
E. I suggest to you this morning two things:
1. That Christians have the greatest reasons in the world to be content and satisfied with their lives.
2. Discontentment, griping, whining, bellyaching, murmuring, etc. are sinful.
2. How some people in scripture handled trouble and/or problems
A. How Paul Handled Trouble:
1. 2 Cor. 11:23-33 If anyone had trouble, it was Paul, but did he gripe & complain?
2. Phs. 4:11-13 No, he learned to be content in every situation.
a. Acts 16:22-25 Paul even sang in prison
b. Notice that contentment was something Paul learned. It was not natural, it is learned.
c. You all choose to be 'glass half full' or 'glass half empty' types of people.
B. How the Israelites handled trouble
1. 1 Cor. 10:1-10 They murmured and many of them died for it.
2. This is our example that we should not murmur. God hates murmuring.
3. Some Reasons You Might Get Discouraged And Not Be Content In Life:
A. You forget that you belong to God, and He has promised to design all things for your good.
1. 1 Peter 1:18,19 He purchased you with the Blood of Jesus
2. Rom. 8:28 All for good
3. When you do that, you end up looking at the trouble instead of at God
a. Num. 14:6-9 Joshua & Caleb saw the Giants, but they also saw God
B. You lose sight of the goal (some don't even know the goal) ??? to be like Jesus
C. You forget that God has promised to test your faith.
1. 1 Pt. 4:12,13 Rejoice in the fiery trial
D. You may have a covetous heart
1. 1 Tim. 6:8 Be satisfied with food & clothes
2. Heb. 13:5 Be content with what you have
3. Your heart should be filled with gratefulness
4. Avoid the sin of self-pity
a. 1 Thess. 5:18 Always give thanks
a. Rom. 12:1 Living sacrifice
b. You are to live as a servant of God and others, not of yourself
A. God has always hated that people complain and whine when they don't have or get what they want or think they deserved.
B. His desire is for us to be content in any situation that you face. Phs. 4:11
C. This morning I call on you to chose to be the second frog.
D. Don't allow discouragement to get hold of you, but instead, look to Jesus.
E. Your problems may be big, but God is bigger, and He could stop them if He wanted.
F. If they don't stop, that is because God is using them to develop in you some part of the Character of Jesus.
G. Learn to trust God, He is good, He loves you, He is all powerful, nothing ever gets out of His control, and He has promised that all things will/do work together for good in your life.
H. Your part is to trust God, and live your life in service to Him so that you may have His promises.
1. Know that you belong to God
2. Remember that He loves you
3. Accept that this is for your own good
4. Embrace the irritation/problem & rejoice
5. Try to learn what you need to learn
6. Guard your heart against covetousness
7. Learn gratefulness
8. Never, Never, Never indulge in self-pity
9. Trust in the promise of God, don't embarrass Him by proclaiming your distrust by discouragement, hostility, etc.