Apr 27, 2022
As we continue in our series on finding contentment, today's message is really about taking the long view.
The human attention span is short. Like really, really short. Between the World Wars, Winston Churchill warned Europe that Hitler was a threat to the continent at least. But people ignored him. And then when the Nazis turned violent, the people turned to Churchill as their prime minister.
Having led the country through another costly war to preserve freedom, Churchill was defeated for re-election in the last days of World War II. It's like the people had forgotten his priceless contribution to world peace. He knew the war would take a long time and that it would be costly, and the people wanted to avoid thinking about it, and even later wanted it over quickly. And that's rarely how life works.
Churchill returned as prime minister in the 1950s, but his experiences show that people mostly want short-term solutions. Working for the long goal is rarely popular.
Jeremiah 15:15 says, "Lord, you understand. Remember me, care for me. Avenge me on my persecutors. You are long-suffering. Do not take me away. Think of how I suffer reproach for your sake."
Here God is reminding us that often, we're required to stay in it for the long haul. Nowhere is this more true than in the pursuits of peace and contentment. That kind of thing is not built quickly. And not surprisingly, too many people don't stay with it and they stumble along, looking for solutions in the wrong places.
If you're in a bad place today, you have to start with basic steps. Talk to Jesus and tell him you're struggling. Maybe you have a vague sense of depression and just can't locate the direct cause. Take the example of people who did understand the source of true happiness, and were committed to seeing it through, no matter how long it took.
Abraham knew the value of prayer and he waited for decades to have a son. Hannah was also unable to have children, but she prayed and stayed faithful. Eventually, God gave her a child and she felt fulfilled. Joseph spent years in exile and prison because of his brother's actions, but his faith didn't waver. He actually found his contentment in the middle of these trials, and eventually God restored his family and all he had lost.
If you're depressed or ground down from money worries, or facing some other huge challenge, go to God right now and tell him you need peace for your soul. Tell him you fully trust him, and will wait with as much patience and faith as you can. It's then you start the clock ticking on your difficult circumstances. And while you wait, your heart will be at rest.
Father, thank you for the good gifts that we already have. Help us be grateful for those things that sustain life. We fully trust you to bring about our delivery from life's circumstances precisely the moment you have chosen. Sustain our spirits on this journey, Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.