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Enjoying What You Have

by | Jun 10, 2022 | Blessings, Joy & Happiness

The message today is part of one that has been on my heart for a long time, and it may become a recurring theme over the next few weeks.

The question often haunts me: Why are we so unhappy?

Oh, I don’t mean we’re always unhappy. Things happen that bring joy to our lives; and our response is often one of praise and thanksgiving. But this sense of happiness always seems to flee at any change of circumstances, the slightest frown or unkind word, even the tiniest thought.

So many in this day and age worry because they do not have enough money. For some, this means a low-paying job. For others, it means no job. How will you feed your families? Wouldn’t it be nicer to be able to afford a better place to live? And if I had more money, I could give to the poor. As it is, I can barely support my own family!

And, for a handful of others, these financial worries happen even with a good job that is enough to support our families. Nonetheless, we want more….

As a result, we are never truly happy with what we have.

So many believe that their unhappiness stems from being alone. What they wouldn’t give for a spouse. Or those who have a loving spouse are lonely because God has not given them a child. Or those with many children are lonely because they do not have a close friend-network…

Others have every material thing in the world, but they may not have their health, and that makes them unhappy.

Still others don’t seem (to outsiders) to have ANY problems, yet unhappiness still prevails.

What, then, is the secret?

I believe the Solomon must have struggled with this last bit. He had hundreds of wives and kids, he was so rich that the Bible says: “All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were solid gold, as were all the utensils in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon. They were not made of silver, for silver was considered worthless in Solomon’s day!” (1 Kings 10:21 NLT). Yet we read in the book of Ecclesiastes that happiness eluded Solomon (See Eccl. 2).

Fortunately for us all, the world’s wisest man did eventually figure it out, and he recorded this in Eccl. 6:7-9: “All people spend their lives scratching for food, but they never seem to have enough.So are wise people really better off than fools? Do poor people gain anything by being wise and knowing how to act in front of others? Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind.” (NLT)

So the root of the problem? We are constantly thinking about what we don’t have, what we would like to have; and that constant focus of our thoughts blinds us to what we actually do have!

It doesn’t matter whether we have little or much, or perhaps nothing at all: God pours out His blessings upon us! The only reason we don’t see them is that our eyes are blinded to them; and one of the key reasons for our blessing-blindness is this constant desire for what we don’t have.

How do we overcome all of this? By following Solomon’s advice and thanking God for each and every blessing! Enjoying what we have rather than desiring what we don’t have! Understanding that we aren’t entitled to anything; nonetheless, God loves us so much that He pours out His blessings upon us!

So the next time you are tempted to go down that alley of self-pity, why not spend some time enjoying what you have? Thanking God for the blessings He has given you? I guarantee it will result in a better outlook on your life!

This concept of continually wanting what we don’t have is actually often rooted in something much bigger: Entitlement! We want more because somewhere deep in our hearts we — often subconsciously — feel entitled to more. This bitter root quickly sprouts the poisons of self-pity, which can lead to deep depression and other problems. God has been revealing to me more and more that many of the negative things I struggle with in my own life are rooted in entitlement. I now try to renounce this demon every day. It’s amazing how much brighter my life seems, how much less I struggle with self-pity, and how much easier it is to look for the blessings instead of getting stuck on the things I don’t have!

And I suspect there will be more devotionals upcoming about the concept of entitlement… After all, aren’t we all “entitled” to knowing what is at the root of much of our unhappiness?

In His love,

Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Moderator, Associate Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries