In your walk with Christ, there will be or have been times where you are frustrated or praying so hard for something to happen and it doesn’t. Where you know you’ve done everything God has asked you to do and for some reason there is no change in your circumstances.
For me it was wanting God to move me to where He wanted me next. I felt that I had done everything I could where I was and I was waiting for the next steps. I had reached a point where I was highly frustrated in a job I had once enjoyed. It didn’t help that God had told me that where I was is not where I was supposed to be and certain things had been prophesied over me that spoke of a new season to come. Without realizing it, wanting to leave became the be all and end all of everything. I reached a point where the smallest of things was frustrating me because I just didn’t want to be there anymore.
God took me through a pruning season and one of the things He showed me was that I had to give up wanting to leave so much and be fine being where I was. Fine with where God had me, no questions asked. I had asked them all, mind you. Why am I still here? Is there something you want me to learn? Is there something you’d like me to do? They were answered, I acted and still no move. I didn’t understand because I had surrendered the way God had told me to. I had given up all my dreams, choosing what God wants for my life instead.
When God told me to give up exactly what I wanted more than anything at that point, to move on, I cried. The thought of letting go of my need to move was too much. It hurt to let go because I’d held on to it for so long. I let it go. When I did, I felt such peace like I never had before then.
Things that would frustrate me in the past were okay. I was fine. I was okay with where I was. No more praying to leave or for next steps etc. It was as though all my feelings of frustration and anxiety just went away. Nothing had changed in my circumstances but my letting go of wanting to leave so much changed things around. I had become content with where God had me.
Not long after that God then opened my eyes to so many things. He told me clearly He would move me but that it was not time yet. He told me that at the right time, He would move me, promote me and launch me into the world. What I’d been waiting for. I can’t properly express the joy on paper. The joy I felt then was just so amazing. Not only does God love me, He trusts me to be ready for what He wants me to do. It still hasn’t happened yet but I know in time it will.
Before the joy, contentment had to come first. In Philippians 4 verse 11 Paul says: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” I wish like Paul I had chosen it. It was practically forced on me but I’ve learned to trust God because He knows me better than I know myself. I have to trust and obey. Every time I do that, I see why it was good for me later.
So before joy, comes contentment. You get there by obeying. The obedience will be different for each of us but I can assure you God will want it from you.