How to Escape the Rut of Discontentment

Nanci and I spoke at our church’s young moms group a number of times, and she was always great. One of the questions we answered when we spoke in 2014 was, “How can I escape the cycle of discontentment? What are some practical ways to stop this cycle?”

Nanci gave some ideas and encouragement, and shared some Scripture:

Nanci talked about perspective, and what we choose to dwell on, rather than our circumstances: “Who you are and where God has placed you are something that He has preordained for you. He knows what’s best for you, and He wants you to be fulfilled.”

Here are some great quotes related to contentment to meditate on:

“Satan loves to fish in the troubled waters of a discontented heart.” —Thomas Watson

“This is the secret of being content: to learn and accept that we live daily by God’s unmerited favor given through Christ, and that we can respond to any and every situation by His divine enablement through the Holy Spirit.” —Jerry Bridges, The Practice of Godliness

“Christian contentment…is the direct fruit of having no higher ambition than to belong to the Lord and to be totally at His disposal in the place He appoints, at the time He chooses, with the provision He is pleased to make.” — Sinclair Ferguson

“For me, true contentment on earth means asking less of this life because more is coming in the next. Godly contentment is great gain. Heavenly gain. Because God has created the appetites in your heart, it stands to reason that He must be the consummation of that hunger.” —Joni Eareckson Tada, Heaven: Your Real Home

“The contented person experiences the sufficiency of God’s provision for his needs and the sufficiency of God’s grace for his circumstances. He believes God will indeed meet all his material needs and that He will work in all his circumstances for his good. That is why Paul could say, ‘Godliness with contentment is great gain.’ The godly person has found what the greedy or envious or discontented person always searches for but never finds. He has found satisfaction and rest in his soul.” —Jerry Bridges, The Practice of Godliness

“If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Contentment, then, is the product of a heart resting in God. It is the soul’s enjoyment of that peace that passes all understanding. It is the outcome of my will being brought into subjection to the Divine will. It is the blessed assurance that God does all things well, and is, even now, making all things work together for my ultimate good.” —A.W. Pink

“Gratitude is a handmaiden of contentment. An ever-growing attitude of gratitude will certainly make us more content since we will be focusing more on what we do have, both spiritually and materially, than on what we do not have. But contentment is more than focusing on what we have.  It is focusing on the fact that all we do have; we have by the grace of God.  We do not deserve anything we have, materially or spiritually. It is all by His grace.” —Jerry Bridges, The Practice of Godliness

“The best time to look for blessings is when you feel like your life is devoid of them. The enjoyment of God’s pleasures is the outworking of genuine trust in the Lord. This demonstrates authentic contentment. It’s the Lord’s quiet, comforting way of informing you that He remains right here. He sits with you through the countless silent blessings He gives every single day.” —Steve Swartz

Photo by Ethan Unzicker on Unsplash

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries