Faith

Finding Contentment When I Hate My Life

I hate my life

Have you started thinking “God, I hate my life”?  Do you feel swamped by disappointment, jealousy, or failure? You’ve got lots of company. Even those who normally roll with what life brings have, at one time or another, been broadsided by a tidal wave of frustration with our circumstances. Makes us feel absolutely wretched.

How We Get There

It’s easy enough to figure out how we become so miserable. All our frustrations stem from one simple thing: unmet expectations. We expect something to turn out a certain way and it doesn’t. Enter frustration.

So, what we need to ask ourselves is: Was our expectation reasonable (based on a promise made to us), or was it simply our wish? If the latter, all we can do is hike up our big-girl britches and move on. We don’t live in a world where bluebirds and mice sew our rags into ballgowns and all our wishes come true. Sad, but true.

However, if we counted on a promise being kept, then we have a genuine complaint. In that case, our expectations were justified and we’re within our rights to pursue compliance or compensation.

A Promise Is As Good As The Promisor

The thing is, as long as promises are made by people, and as long as people as prone to break promises; the only promise we can truly count on are promises made by the One who always keeps His word – God. And here are some of His promises:

  • In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33b)
  •  Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:37–39)
  • A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. (John 15:20b)

Not the promises you expected? While it’s true Jesus promised to never leave or forsake His own, it’s a promise made in light of the fact we’ll experience tribulation, deep personal sacrifice, and persecution. In short, life will be painful at times. That’s what God promised.

I don’t know about you, but I appreciate God’s truth in advertising. He doesn’t sugar-coat what it costs to belong to Him like He’s selling a get-rich-quick scheme on a late night infomercial. His brutal honesty proves His trust-worthy-ness.

But Still, I Hate My Life

Simply knowing that people break promises and God doesn’t won’t make you content. Here’s what else you need to know.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  (Romans 8:28–29)

First of all, this passage of Scripture qualifies it applies to “those who love God”. It’s not a blanket promise meant for everyone.

Secondly, it tells us all things work together for good for God-lovers. Not some things. All things. That’s right, even painful losses such as a job, our health, or a relationship. Those losses are tools in God’s hands. For what purpose? To make us more like His Son, Jesus.

When we lose our health, material possessions lose their appeal. When we lose a job, we learn to trust God to provide as a Father. And when we lose a relationship, we learn not to look to others to be our functional god.

You see, when we read God is working all things together for our good, we think that means He’s working all things together for our happiness. Good = Our Temporary Happiness. But this passage in Romans equates our good with becoming Christlike. In God’s economy, Good = Our Eternal Holiness. And that’s important because God’s purpose for our holiness isn’t even about us. The focus is on His Son: “in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers”.

How Do I Find Contentment In That?

Here’s the bottom line: God’s plans do not revolve around us but around making much of Jesus. And we will be content with our lives to the degree we’re on board with that.

We can rest in the comfort of assurance that God loves us and paid for our redemption with the blood of His own Son.  He is truthful and always at work for our good – even though it may come through the means of suffering. He has a bigger picture in view and we can trust He knows what He’s doing.

And when we do that – trust Him when life is painfully difficult – then we show the world we value God above ourselves. That is what it looks like to emulate Christ. And that is how we fulfill the purpose of our creation.

Jesus' life looked like a wreck when He was on the cross. #wifesense Click To TweetJesus’ life looked like a wreck when He was on the cross. But through the lens of Scripture, we know it was His greatest triumph. So when you think your life looks like a total wreck, look at it again through the lens of Scripture. Know that, if you belong to Him, you may be experiencing your opportunity for triumph and fulfillment. And breathe in the contentment in that when you start to think “I hate my life.”

(Jesus said not everyone who calls him “Lord”, belongs to Him. If you don’t know if you belong to God, read how you can know here.)

 

I hate my life