Shrewsbury Assembly has been going through a summer series called “The Traveler.” We have been looking at the life of Abraham and his walk of faith. The Big Idea of this message from Genesis 16 is “Indecision Questions the Faithfulness of God.”
by Craig Groeschel
Never before in history have so many people had so much, yet felt so dissatisfied.
Some sociologists point to technology and social media as significant factors in our constant unhappiness. We are the first people in the history of the world who can peek inside the lives of others in real time. We carry tiny media powerhouses in our pockets that let us voyeuristically follow other people around, through all of their check-ins and pictures and video clips.
And if what we’re seeing in the lives of others seems better, more interesting and more fulfilling than our own lives, we feel like we’re missing out. Of course, that feed we’re watching may not necessarily reflect the whole reality. Most people generally put their best foot forward, showing you only the things they want you to see. Photoshopped and cropped, filtered and edited, what we see online makes our own reality seem dingy and dull.
No wonder we often feel so dissatisfied.
No matter how much we have, it can’t compare to what we need the most.
Perhaps no one has understood this better than the Apostle Paul. When Paul was in a prison in Rome, he wrote about his experiences and what he had learned. He basically said,
“I’ve gone without the things that I need before. But I’ve also had times when I had more than enough. Life happens in seasons. I’ve had good seasons where everything was going well, and I’ve had hard ones where nothing went my way. But through them all, I’ve learned that there’s one secret to being content: I can do anything and everything — not by my own power — but through Christ. Jesus gives me the strength to handle anything that comes my way.”
You will always battle with discontentment until you let Christ be all that you need.
You can chase after everything you’ve ever wanted and get it all. It won’t be enough. At the end of the day, every day, you’ll still feel empty.
As a potter shaped a clay pot on the potter’s wheel, defects often appeared. The potter had power over the clay—to permit the defects to remain or to reshape the pot.
In Jeremiah 18:1-17, we see God has power over “the clay” and He continues to work with it to make it a useful vessel. But we must repent, or the clay will harden the wrong way. Then it will be worth nothing and it will need to be broken.
Our society admires independence and defiance of authority. In a relationship with God these qualities become stubbornness, pride, self-centeredness, and self-importance. Left unchecked, these qualities become a way of life that is hostile toward God. However, if we put away these negative qualities and yield to God, He begins reshaping us into valuable vessels.