Biblical wisdom in a chaotic world
In my own life, I’ve always tried (but fought) the need to either know or experience something before any of my friends could. Whether that be a travel experience, new restaurant, or a piece of information that only I knew and could share with everyone. Today I want to discuss how to find contentment and peace amidst chaos.
- How to Find Contentment and Peace Amidst Chaos
- Need to be Needed
- Losing Joy and Contentment in My Life
- Always Longing and Never Content
- Why aren’t we satisfied with what we have?
- How to Find Peace and Fulfillment in Life
- Contentment is Found in Loving Others
- So if pursuing the American Dream or chasing our own desires isn’t what gives us true contentment, what will?
- The True Path to Contentment
Need to be Needed
This was a running theme throughout my high school and college years that led to destructive patterns over time that bled into every relationship I had. I’d feel an inordinate sense of pride if I could be the one to lead someone to something I deemed as valuable or knew they’d enjoy. The desire of my heart was to feel needed, accepted, and wanted by everyone I knew.
And for a while, it worked. The center of the room could become anything I wanted just as long as I knew what to bring up. All the while I couldn’t deny the unnerving feeling of emptiness in the pit of my belly that would never leave. While I couldn’t articulate it, I was searching for spiritual longings while feeding myself earthly fillings. I needed to know how to find contentment and peace amidst chaos.
Losing Joy and Contentment in My Life
Eventually, I knew the dissatisfaction I was feeling would lead to loving God less and losing joy in life. Was my longing for acceptance, wanted, and deeply loved wrong? Of course not! But where it was being found couldn’t be any worse. As Augustine would put it, I had a disordered loves because our hearts are idol factories. My love wasn’t the problem, but its aim, direction, and orders were.
You and I should love others well but never at the sake of loving them more than God. God calls us ultimately to love him, others, and ourselves because that’s how true love is fully expressed. I expected far too much from building a house with a foundation made from sand thinking it would provide like a house built on solid rock (Mat 7:24-26).
I would probably bet that you’ve experienced a lot of these same feelings, maybe not the exact same way, but similar nonetheless. Like me, you how to find contentment and peace amidst chaos.
Always Longing and Never Content
Today’s society is filled with a longing for the next new and shiny thing that flashes in front of our eyes. The constant desire to feel “up to date” and “modern” by getting the newest phone, technology, or designer wear that hits the shelves. This is a part of the “American Dream” to pursue anything we’d like, as much we can, and until we feel like its “enough”.
An endless cycle of obtaining, consuming, and concerning ourselves with an “i” mentality that cares not for the well being of others and allowing our God to be our stomach (Phil 3:19). This is a phenomenon that happens with every generation leaving every group affected by the aftermath. But why?
Why aren’t we satisfied with what we have?
It’s because we’ve fallen victim to what the world says will fulfill our true desires. The words of Paul articulate the reality of our hearts and minds in deep contrast with one another,
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
A timeless example of a people not being content with their circumstances are the Israelites being lost in the wilderness for forty years after being led out of slavery in Egypt. Their eyes were focused on what they could see rather than who they knew. God provided manna from heaven. He then instructed them how much to take and eat on a daily basis. God had abundantly shown his reliability and love for them yet they still couldn’t seem to trust him. Why? Because they felt that life could be found outside of Gods wisdom and instruction. They didn’t understand how to find contentment and peace amidst chaos.
How to Find Peace and Fulfillment in Life
If what you’re seeking is peace and fulfillment, be the most selfless and sacrificing person in the room. We worry not of ourself when we devote to serving and loving those around us. Examples of this are scattered all throughout the biblical narrative with individuals like Paul, David, Solomon, Moses, and Jesus himself.
Contentment is Found in Loving Others
While all (but Jesus) were imperfect in their walk, the shining moments of their lives were when they were loving God and loving others to their fullest capacities.
- Paul let nothing stop his journey to spread the good news.
- Moses obeyed God in the wilderness despite his people starting to question and doubt.
- David & Solomon both led Israel virtuously by obeying God and his provision by doing what best served them even when the nation had other desires.
And I’m sure you’ve heard of or seen someone in your life fully devoted to loving others fiercely. You could tell that the Spirit of God truly made an everlasting mark on their life. May we excel all the more to serve others like Christ. We will know it not only inadvertently gives us peace, but Glorifies God to the watching world. It serves as a reminder to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to what we’re always called to.
So if pursuing the American Dream or chasing our own desires isn’t what gives us true contentment, what will?
The Gospel. Nothing but the Gospel has the power to overcome any fear, anxiety, or hardship in our life.
God doesn’t come just to merely make our lives easier. He comes to make the dead come to life. He comes to free us from the chains of sin and condemnation. Through him we can be reconciled to God himself through his son’s perfect sacrifice.
The True Path to Contentment
This isn’t just an intellectual acknowledgement we believe like we would with Abraham Lincoln. This belief in Christ holistically changes every aspect of our being. It is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us. Our union with him is a sign of his ever present commitment that the work God starts will always finish through to the end. That is an awe inspiring story. Even more so because it’s the most true story in all of human history. This is the only path to life and real contentment in life we’ll ever find.
If you would like to know how you too can experience true contentment and peace amidst the chaos, we invite you to watch the video on this page.