"When God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work--this is a gift of God."
- Ecclesiastes 5:19 NIV
When I was feeling somewhat down and depressed over a disappointing situation that I faced recently, the Lord led me to some wisdom from His Word that helped me to see things from a new perspective. First, He showed me a verse from Ecclesiastes 5:19 (NIV), which says that one of the gifts of God is for someone to "accept his lot." Although I was certain that God was speaking to me, everything inside of me resisted the idea of my accepting my situation as it was. After all, I'm a woman of faith, a Word-filled believer, who strives for supernatural victory in every circumstance. Why should I accept less than God's best in any situation? When I got quiet in my spirit enough to allow myself to discern the Lord's "still, small voice," I realized that He was telling me, "Accept your lot--for now." As He led me next to His instructions in Colossians 3:15 (NIV), I began to understand His logic: "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since...you were called to peace. And be thankful." I definitely had lost my peace because of my disheartening situation, and I was having difficulty being thankful. And I was fully aware that my attitude and my perspective were displeasing to God.
Since I've spent so many years studying the Word of God, and doing my best to apply it to my life, I've come to believe with all my heart that the Lord wants us to prosper and succeed in every area. But I also believe that He wants us to be satisfied and content with our present circumstances, while we wait on Him to lead us into better things. This kind of waiting doesn't mean that we're passive and apathetic. It means that we actively pray and stand in faith for His very best outcome in our situation. And in the process, we maintain an attitude of gratitude, and a sense of peace. Scripture says: "Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God." (Philippians 4:6 AMP) It's perfectly okay for us to "continue to make [our] wants known to God" when we are in a disappointing situation, but we must do it with hearts filled with gratitude for what He's already done in our lives. The next verse in this passage says: "And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7 AMP) As we decide to be "content with [our] earthly lot," we will experience the peace of mind and heart that will enable us to go on and enjoy our lives while we wait for the Lord to act on our behalf.
Never being satisfied with our circumstances not only robs us of our peace, but it steals our joy, which the Bible says is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) Then we become weak and weary over even the littlest things. We lose our focus. And we become unfruitful. It's hard for us to pray, or to walk in faith. Our lack of satisfaction begins to consume us, and it eventually affects our relationships and our health. Scripture says: "Be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support." (Hebrews 13:5 AMP) This is the Lord's reassurance that no matter how our situation looks, we have not been abandoned by our Creator and Sustainer. As long as we are looking to Him to meet our needs, we can be sure that His help is on the way. The apostle Paul wrote: "Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT) Being grateful and content with our circumstances opens the door to divine blessings, rewards, and opportunities. On the other hand, a lack of satisfaction and gratitude will stall us on the path to God's perfect plans and purposes for us. If you are in a disappointing place right now, I encourage you to make a quality decision to get joyful and thankful right where you are. Believe God for better things--and open the door to the peace and provision that belong to you in Christ!
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for grumbling and complaining when things haven't gone my way. Change my heart and renew my mind so that I can remain satisfied and thankful in every circumstance. Thank You that as I obey You in this area, and trust You for better things, I will experience rich rewards from a grateful and loving God!
- J. M. Farro