“I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness,
and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.”
In the summer of 2022, I spent my summer as a nanny to four boys in Ireland. In many ways, the summer was a dream come true for me, and in many other ways, the summer was a challenge and trial. I had always wanted to go to Ireland, so when the opportunity was presented to me, I was thrilled.
Once I arrived on the Emerald Isle, however, I found myself discontent with many aspects of my situation. I was not able to see as much of the country as I hoped to (which was the reality of being a nanny, and I knew that would likely be the case when I agreed to go). Not being able to freely travel the country was just one of the many things I was discontent with when I arrived in Ireland. I was discontent with how disobedient and difficult to manage my boys were. I was discontent with where I lived. I was discontent with the limited time off I had.
You name it and I probably found a way to be discontent with it.
I was given an opportunity of a lifetime and, in many ways, I was squandering it by being discontent. By the power of the Holy Spirit, I sought to fight this. I looked for ways to be content. I memorized scripture to recite when my thoughts were sinful. I looked for ways to praise God, and I thanked Him daily for what He had done that day.
Over the course of that summer, I saw my heart changing. I began to grow content with how God was working in my life, and I was full of genuine joy. I no longer looked around me for things I wished I had and instead enjoyed what was before me (especially the ice cream. Ireland had really good ice cream). I praise God for this.
Fast forward to today, and there are a few trials I am facing. But thankfully, I have found myself quick to delight in the Lord and slow to be discontent. Through enjoyable times of life as well as in trials, I have seen the good fruit that comes from God as I fight my sin and discontentment. I am confident that if I hadn’t fought my discontentment in Ireland, I would be sitting here in the US wishing I was back in Ireland. I would be facing the present trials, wishing they were different. I am confident that if I hadn’t learned how to be content, then I would be upset every time my plans go awry.
My fight against discontentment has been only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit, and through the goodness of God. And it is only by that same power and goodness that the fruit has been something I have been able to continue to see and appreciate in my life.
Whatever sin you are fighting, fight it hard and do not be discouraged. Pray for strength, fight your sin, and trust that God will grow you in sanctification. God blesses our fight for obedience to Him. The more we fight sin, the easier it becomes. While the fight does not end, it has become so much easier to identify discontentment and root it out of my life. I have been astonished to see the long-lasting effects of fighting sin in my life.
If you are finding yourself discontent, be intentional to look for ways to praise God each day. When I was in Ireland, I look a picture everyday to remind myself of something I was thankful for that day. Somedays the things I thanked God for were bigger, and other days it was for simple things like music, books, or delicious food. I found that in looking for things to take pictures of, I was looking for the beauty around me, and in looking for things to thank God for, I was focusing on the many blessings in my life.
There are many ways to fight discontentment, and they almost all seem to be rooted in trusting God and thanking Him for what is in your life. So, fight your sin and praise God while you do it.
You will be blessed in seeing fruit in your life.
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!”