I open my eyes and see the red, blocky numbers shining on the ceiling. 5:15. 

Time to get up. 

I close my eyes again. 

You’ll feel better if you get up now than later. 

Not that much better. 

You know your whole morning will be more stressful if you stay in bed until the last minute. 

Yeah. But sleep. Sleep feels like a great place to hide. I look at today, and all I see is a long list of things I don’t wanna do. And the minutes will tick by at a sloth’s pace, and I’ll just have to plod through all of it. This is the best part of my day. Right here. Sleeping.

But you’ll have to do all those things and feel guilty for sleeping late.

Sigh. You’re right. I should get up now. It’s better even if it’s not good.

And I rise from bed, depressed from the very beginning of my day. I spend a bit of time on my phone, distracting myself with apps and social media, knowing full well it won’t really help anything. I’m just wasting more time. Distraction can never actually fix the deep discontentment settled on my soul.

Discontentment’s been a struggle for me for most of my life. I’m not talking about grief resulting from tragedy or mental health issues. For me, it’s just a general, lingering restlessness and dissatisfaction with my life. When I was a kid, it manifested itself as the typical whining kids are prone to. As I’ve aged though, the problem seems to have amplified. Day after day, the thoughts reverberate around my brain: Why am I here? What’s wrong with my life? Why is there nothing at all in my day that I’m looking forward to? Why can’t my life be enjoyable instead of this endless drudgery? The echo of these thoughts makes it harder and harder for me to fulfill my responsibilities.

At times, it can feel like I’m not in control of my mind and feelings, which seem to surround and crush me. This deep-seated unhappiness with life can feel impossible to shake.

Fortunately, that’s where the Bible comes in. As with all issues of the heart, it has much to share. 

I find the Scriptures say I’m not alone in this struggle with discontentment. It’s pasted all over the pages of God’s story, starting with the very first people God made:

“‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’” (Genesis 3:4-5).

What was Eve’s temptation here? Satan lured her toward dissatisfaction. God gave them every other tree in the garden. She was surrounded by good! She could’ve done anything she wanted, except that one thing. Still, Satan told her the lie: what God gave her was not enough. And she, like me, fell for it all too easily. 

Paul too struggled with discontentment. We know because he called its opposite, contentment, a secret. This peace wasn’t an easy thing for him to find. But he did, and he’s kind enough to share the secret with us:

“… for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11b-13).

It’s common to use this verse to pump people up, help them feel like they can do anything—win that sporting event, start that new business, chase that dream. Looking at the context though, perhaps the message isn’t literally, “I can do all things,” but, “because of Jesus, my hope is not in present circumstances.” Paul doesn’t say he finds contentment in knowing God will feed him when he’s hungry. He doesn’t say he finds contentment in knowing God will give him plenty when he’s in want. He finds his contentment in Christ, regardless of his circumstances. 

What does this mean though? Those mornings when I’m lying in bed, dreading the boredom of my easy life, how does Christ strengthen me? Those mornings when life’s been so hard, and I don’t feel like I have the energy or the desire to get up and face those problems again, how does Christ strengthen me? 



Perhaps, first of all, he strengthens us through our belief in this promise: we can be content through Christ. It is a promise, and we ought to trust in it as one. When I’m lying in bed wondering how on earth I can do it, I can go back to the promise: Christ strengthens me. In him, I can find contentment each day. God, today I’m not feeling like I can be the joyful, peaceful, content Christian you’ve made me to be. But you say I can in Christ. Thank you, Lord, for your promise. Thank you that I’m not alone in this struggle. When I replace my bored or hopeless thoughts with God’s promises, I begin to find strength flowing back into me. Already I’m feeling a little better. 



Discontentment is largely a result of (often unintentional) blindness to the good gifts God has already given. I’m surrounded by his blessings every day, even in times of immense hardship. There’s a reason the Bible reminds us over and over and over again to give thanks: 1) we tend to forget to do this, and 2) there are always things to be thankful for! If I take time to count just my material blessings, I find the list quite long. And none of that holds a candle to the spiritual blessings God has given me through Christ! Forgiveness, adoption, deliverance from death and sin, reconciliation with himself, empowerment by his Holy Spirit, purpose, unconditional love… and that’s just the shortlist. Reflecting on God’s blessings is the greatest enemy of discontentment. I don’t have time to grumble when I’m praising.  



In the midst of difficulty or boredom, I have to remember God is in control. God promises to work all things “for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). As a Christian, I love God (or at least, I’m starting to). Therefore, God’s working this circumstance for my good. I’m supposed to be right here, right now, and God is working, right here, right now. There’s immense peace to be found in that promise. My circumstances aren’t all wrong. He’s making them right. God’s got me.



One of the best things for me to remember when I’m struggling with discontentment is that God’s primary concern isn’t to make life easy for me. God loves me. He proved it by sending his Son to die for me. And, because he loves me, Scripture tells me he’s doing a good work in me. God’s primary goal for me isn’t to make me comfy and cozy, it’s to make me into what he made me to be: a child of God in Christ’s likeness. Scripture tells us God also builds our character and our endurance into the likeness of Jesus through suffering (Romans 5:3-4) When I’m facing difficulty, I can find hope in the fact that God can work through this very struggle to make me more like Jesus. And who doesn’t want to be like Jesus? He is literally the best person ever. As painful as the process may be, if I get to be like Jesus at the end of it, it’s going to be worth it. So, so worth it. In that, I can rejoice.   

Reflecting on these truths is hard. It’s the last thing I want to do when my mind is already tired, and Satan’s telling me I should just sit in my sadness, indulging it as long as possible. And when I do make the effort to reflect on them, to pray about them, sometimes it doesn’t seem to make a big difference. I know it should. I know they’re true, but my feelings won’t always listen to my mind. There’s no quick fix to pretty much any struggle I’ve encountered. When it’s still hard, when it doesn’t seem to be “working the way it should,” I have to wait. I thank God that He’s with me, even when he feels far away, even when my emotions and struggles seem so much bigger than he is. It’s not true. He is bigger, and he is working. Always.

Lord God, thank you that you’re in control, right here and right now. Thank you that I can trust you with all the struggles I’m facing. Thank you for your promises, your blessings, your peace, and the work that you’re doing in me. Help me to remember these truths, Lord, even when my flesh cries out that things aren’t right, and that I deserve ease, comfort, and fun. Help me to remember that I naturally pursue death, but that you’ve given me life in Christ. In this knowledge, help me to rejoice. You deserve my praise. Amen.