We know God wants us to be faithful where we are. Just as He is faithful, we’re called to live well where our feet are planted—even before our situation changes.
But what about when you don’t like where your feet are planted?
I know this feeling well. It was right after I got married, living in the college town where both of our jobs kept us. Our community kept shifting because—hello, college town! Everyone moved away after they got married, and yet there we were. I felt left behind: behind the people who moved, behind the people having babies, just behind in general. I found myself discontent in my job, drifting at work, unhappy at home, even though I was newly married. I had everything I’d ever wanted as a single girl! What was wrong with me?!
In that season, the Lord taught me some profound truths about contentment and faithfulness. I learned that my life stage didn’t change my heart; only God could do that. And I learned three more things about being faithful in a life you don’t like, which are listed below.
1. Obedience draws from trust.
When we talk about Christian obedience, it always comes out kind of vague. Okay, yes, obedience matters…but obey what?
Ask the Lord for direction daily, but if you aren’t hearing anything specific, He probably wants you to obey Him right where you are. Just be faithful. Do the very simple yet oh-so-hard thing: faithfulness in a job, season or location you don’t like.
Obedience like this is hard, but it happens when we reach a place of trust in God. I like to think of trust as “faith applied to daily life.” If you believe Christ for eternity, that has to apply to your daily decisions. Do you trust that Christ is not only enough to save you from spiritual condemnation, but also enough to make you content?
2. You can be content and still hope your situation changes.
Another misconception is that contentment is the absence of desire. We think contentment means we stop caring whether we stay single or whether we move away. But contentment is a choice to trust God with our circumstances and be grateful for what we already have while simultaneously entrusting our desires to Him.
Your desire for change might not go away, and it doesn’t have to. But your desire isn’t ruling you. You’re not making decisions and living in constant anxiety over whether or not you get what you want, because you’re actively choosing trust in God. Both obedience and contentment are founded on faith.
Contentment is not an easy choice; in fact, Philippians 4 tells us we need all the strength of God to be content. Through Christ, you can do all things—even choose contentment.
3. Do the next right thing.
What can you take away from this article? Only this: Do the next right thing Jesus is asking you to do. Have you been putting off starting a small group because you really want to move to another town? Start it anyway. Have you been turning down dates because you aren’t sure how long you’ll be here? Go on them anyway. Are you uninvested in your job because you hate it? Be faithful here.
God is always faithful to you, and He will equip you to be faithful, too. He is your ever-present Help (Psalm 46:1). You don’t have to like your life to live it well.