“Rachel was a real knockout. Rachel undoubtedly knew that when it came to feminine charms, she had her sister Leah beat hands down. She must have relished the favor that was hers. She was so beautiful that when Jacob first laid eyes on her, he knew she was the one for him.
In their first meeting she captured his heart, and he served her father fourteen years for her.
In fact, he loved her so much that the years he spent working to secure her for himself ‘seemed to him but a few days’ (Gen. 29:20). That’s real devotion!
With a beginning like this, you would think that the rest of Rachel’s life would have been a bed of roses. She was beautiful, and she had her husband’s love… what else could she possibly want?” -Elyse Fitzpatrick, Idols of the Heart
Rachel told God that she could not be happy unless she had children.
It didn’t matter that she was gorgeous and had her husband’s love, she wanted children. Eventually God gave her a child and you know what happened? It wasn’t enough. She wanted another child!
One child wasn’t enough to satisfy her.
God did give Rachel another child, but sadly, she ended up dying as she gave birth to that baby. The very thing Rachel thought she couldn’t live without ended up being the very thing that killed her.
This story made a huge impact on the way I view the “must haves” in life. Am I like Rachel? Are there certain things in my life that I feel like I “must have” in order to be happy?
What about you? How many of you have ever said something like this to God:
“If I only had ___________, then I’d be happy.”
I have believed that lie many times myself! Sometimes I catch myself saying things like,
“If only I were married, then I’d be happy.”
“If only I had a nicer car, then I’d be happy.”
“If only I could buy more clothes, then I’d be happy.”
I’ve come to realize that when I say those sentences, in essence, I’m telling God that He is not enough for me, and I need something else besides Him in order to be happy. When I say those “if only” words, I am choosing to focus on what I don’t have rather than choosing to gratefully praise God for what He has already given to me.
A desire to please God says, “God, I will choose to serve you and praise you whether or not my circumstances ever change.”
When I choose to live by my desire to please myself I will always encounter disappointment, difficulty, depression and just plain unhappiness. I will be focused on what I think will make me happy rather than being focused on believing God will provide what He knows is best for me.
When I choose to say words of gratitude like, “God, I will praise you in my singleness and serve you every day whether or not I ever get married.” “God, thank you for providing me with a car that works. You are so good to me.” “God, thank you for all the fun cute clothes I have.” I find that I have gladness, hope, rest, peace and joy.
By changing my thoughts and words, I change my heart attitude.
“What do you notice about the man who trusts in something other than God? He’s never satisfied.” -Elyse Fitzpatrick
In every situation in life we can either choose to please ourselves or we can choose to please God.
“You can either whine or you can worship; but you can’t do both at the same time.” -Nancy Leigh Demoss
We have to make a choice to praise God in every situation in life. Our happiness is not dependent on our circumstances.
Think of some of the greatest missionaries and heroes of the faith. Corrie Ten Boom, Elisabeth Elliot, Joni Eareckson Tada. Each one of these women has experienced hard circumstances in their lives.
Each of them has chosen to praise God and serve him in their circumstances without expectation of them changing.
That is exactly is what you and I need to do every single day.
“What must I have for life to be meaningful or happy? If I answer that question with anything other than God Himself, then that’s what functions as a God for me.” -Elyse Fitzpatrick
I have to make the daily (sometimes hourly!) choice to surrender my plans and desires to God. I have to choose to say,
“God, I will trust in you and serve you today. I will praise you and I will choose to be satisfied in you alone. I don’t need to be married to be happy. I don’t need better or nicer things to be happy. I don’t need a bigger ministry to be happy. If I am not satisfied in my current circumstances, then I won’t be satisfied in my future circumstances.”
Take a minute to be really honest with yourself.
Look at the blank line below and fill it in.
If I only had _________, then I’d be happy.
How can you change your heart and attitude?
I challenge you to make the hard decision to turn your whining into worship. To start placing your entire trust and hope in Christ alone.
Put it into action today.
How can you thank God for your circumstances right now?
What hard situations can you praise God for today?
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