Day 1 of Anxiety // Contentment in Him

Wiregrass Hope Group's Christian counselors have written these posts on anxiety based on their own experiences and the book Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. Our hope is for you to live free from anxiety.

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I must confess, I like contentment. I don’t like confusion. But there have been many years of my life, and continue to be at times, that have been filled with a “catalog” of confusions: Jesus working in my children’s lives but allowing them to make choices that made my life very uncomfortable, coming back to my home town after a divorce, shame and feeling like a failure, feelings of rejection, discouragement, low self-worth, betrayal, raising four children alone for a few years, sometimes wondering where the next meal will come from, remarrying and putting together two families, trying to make everyone happy and making everyone unhappy, my parents going to be with Jesus, these are just a few. A verse I say to myself often is, “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). So, since God is not the author of confusion, I guess we know who is messing with us when confusion enters our lives and wrecks our contentment.

How big is God in my life? Do I truly, “Trust in the Lord with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5-6)? Or do I try to make the circumstances of my life come together as I think they should? What are the “uncomfortable” circumstances God allows in my life to make me more like Him? What do I do to keep from being uncomfortable? Do I practice what the Bible teaches to, “Be Still and know He is God” (Psalm 46:10)? Or do I try to keep my uncomfortable level down by filling it with food, spending money, and my time on television, computer, busyness? What is your filler?

1 Timothy 6:6 in the Amplified Bible reads, "But godliness actually is a source of great gain when accompanied by contentment (that contentment which comes from a sense of inner confidence based on the sufficiency of God).  This verse defines contentment as inner confidence based on the sufficiency of God. Contentment is not in our circumstances. Contentment is in who God is and who God says I am.

In trying to be content, how do I handle the negative feelings in my life? How can I use these opportunities that God gives me to grow closer to Him? Do I always honor Him in my responses? No! But I serve a God who is faithful even though I have my times of faithlessness (2 Timothy 2:13); a God who continually molds me and makes me into His image; a God who has not quit writing a love story between Him and me; a God who sees me and loves me through His righteous Son; a God who knew I was going to fail Him, so He sent His only begotten Son not to condemn me but to save me (John 3:17). Now that promise excites me beyond all degrees.   

I serve a God who works ALL things (not just the pretty things in our lives but ALL things) together for good (Romans 8:28). That’s where my contentment lies. In Him! Contentment is not in our circumstances. It is in who He is and who He says I am.

The longer I live and suffer life’s difficulties, the more I depend on Christ. I am content in knowing that He loves me and that He sent His only begotten Son to die for me (John 3:16). I am in content that I am sanctified (Hebrews 10:10) and justified (Romans 3:24; 1 Corinthians 6:11). I am content that His grace is sufficient for me (2 Corinthians 12:9). I am content that when I fail Him, I need only to admit my sin and ask forgiveness (1 John 1:9). I know that “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). I am content in knowing that as Paul writes, I am only adequate through Him (Galatians 1:15-17).

Let me leave you with an old hymn: “Without Him, I could do nothing; without Him, I’d surely fail; without Him, I would be drifting like a ship without a sail. Without Him, I would be dying; without Him, I’d be enslaved; without Him, life would be hopeless but with Jesus, thank God, I’m saved! Jesus, O Jesus, Do you know Him today? Do not turn Him away, O Jesus, precious Jesus, without Him how lost I would be. But with Jesus, thank God, I am Free!”

If you don’t know Him…Seek Him...He is there waiting!   

Prayer: Dear Father, help me better understand who you are and who I am in You. Lead me to places to learn more about You.

Further Study: Read Chapter 1 of Calm My Anxious Heart.

Small Group Discussion: Questions 2, 7, and 8 of Week 1 in the back of Calm My Anxious Heart.

Comment: Where do you struggle with contentment in your life?

Please share your answer either in the comments section below or join the conversation with our Facebook Community Group. #undividedwomen.

// Ruthi


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Ruthi Penuel is a native of Dothan, Alabama and a graduate from Dothan High School. She received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Masters of Science in Counseling/Psychology from Troy University of Dothan. Ruthi has practiced counseling for 12 years with various organizations in Dothan. She is married to Rex Penuel who now in his second career, works as a Registered Nurse at the Behavioral Unit at Southeast Medical Center. Ruthi and Rex have a blended family of 7 children and 12 grandchildren.