Grounded Podcast

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Discovering the Joy of Contentment, with Melissa Kruger

Do you find yourself saying, “If only…?” It’s easy to imagine life would be better if only we had some thing or circumstance. But real joy comes when we learn to be content in the Lord, no matter what our circumstances. Melissa Kruger and several other guests will help you fight grumbling and complaining and embrace joy.

Episode Notes:

Article from Melissa Kruger

Book by Melissa Kruger

Revive Our Hearts interview between Erin Davis and Melissa Kruger

Joy McClain Prayer Video

Damaris Carbaugh Video

Sign Up for the Prayer Saturated Leader Webinar here.

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Dannah Gresh: What two words can instantly steal your joy. Find out in this episode of Grounded. I'm Dannah Gresh. 

Erin Davis: And I'm Erin Davis along with our beloved co-host Portia Collins.

Hey, if you don't already know, Grounded is a podcast, and it's a video cast produced by Revive Our Hearts. We're here live every Monday morning with one mission—to give you hope and perspective. And today we have another mission, we're on a duty to protect your joy.

Dannah: That is so right. We want you to know the two words that can instantly steal it. And they are: “if only” if only I had fill in the blank. If only I was fill in the blank. If only they were.

Erin, I gotta confess to you I have the most superficial if only today. I was thinking this morning as I was trying to get my hair just so. What if only might I be struggling with, and I could only come up with this really trite one. Is it okay if I share it?

Erin: I've got some hair ones. Go ahead. 

Dannah: Okay. So, the world is kind of opening up here in Central Pennsylvania. I actually had what you might call a fairly normal summer weekend with actual picnics to go to. And when I went to go to the first picnic, I realized that my toes have not been painted. February of 2021.

Erin: A pedicure, is that it?

Dannah: Well, listen, no, not only I had a pedicure, so this is the thing. Have you ever done this? I stuck my sandals on and go the picnic. And I was like, I just got to deal with it. And then I was like, “Nope, can't deal with it.” So, I painted the toes that stuck out. Have you ever done that? 

Erin: Oh, I haven't.

Dannah: I know my “if only” today was if only my pinky toe were painted. 

Erin: Oh, that's a good one. 

Dannah: It’s trite.

Erin: All right, we have an air conditioning problem in our house. We’ve been without AC for six weeks. 

Dannah: Oh, goodness.

Erin: So if only we could get the air conditioning fixed, and I could be a happy girl. It’s hot here in my house. 

Dannah: We always have one.

Erin: My hair won't cooperate with the no air conditioning. 

Dannah: Wait, wait, your hair is looking fine. 

Erin: Oh, thank you. 

Dannah: I like it. 

Erin: Well, I'll take that “if only” off my list. Hey, we've got a little remodel process going on on the Davis farm on top of not having air conditioning. It started out as kind of turning a room that used to be an office slash laundry room into a family room because we got teenagers now.

Dannah: Yeah.

Erin: We needed a hangout space, and then I didn't really like the ceiling fans in there. So, then we took those down. Then I didn't really like the couch. We had to get a new couch.

And then I didn't really like the rug. So, then we had to get a new rug. And then my old living room was looking kind of drab, so we're gonna paint that. And well, that's connected to the dining room, which I've never liked the light fixture in there. So, we're changing that. 

Dannah: Oh no. 

Erin: It's become this progression of “if onlys” in my house.

Dannah: Yeah. They really are a progression. There's a progression of discontentment.

And you know, it just kind of goes, “Oh, you don't want me here. I'll move here. You don't want to here. I'll move here.”

Erin: Right? It just started out so small. I mean, it's not bad to redecorate. We've been in this house a decade; it could use a fresh coat. But I've been amazed what I've now fixated on and looking at light fixtures online. Before long, I’m going to redo the whole house. 

Dannah: Yeah, it can happen very quickly. Well, you know, I wasn't with you last Monday, I was tucked away finishing a little writing project. But I did watch. And something Arlene Pellicane said about our cell phones, I think has something to do with this “if only.” It stuck with me.

She was talking about the algorithms that grab our attention with our phones. Bob and I were talking about this last night, like the algorithms actually terrify us just a little bit. 

What she said was, it's not a fair fight; that our battle with contentment is not a fair fight. And that's so true. It's estimated that this year companies will spend right here in the United States alone $30 billion, that's billion with a B, Erin Davis, billion with a B. 

Erin: That's a lot of money. 

Dannah: Those numbers don't even register in my brain. But they're spending that money trying to convince us that we have “if onlys.” 

Erin: I've noticed that. The bottom line that they're trying to get us to is: if only I buy this product, then I will be happy. I'm not immune to it; none of us are immune to it. We all fall for it. 

Dannah: Right. Speaking of who's not immune to it, let me get on my soapbox, cuz I got one.

Those marketers are really after what they call cradle to grave customers. And that means they're using their phones, the billboards, the end cap displays in the grocery stores, all the things to market products to our children and even our grandchildren. That's how they can maximize the dollars out of that individual—if they start early. 

They're often products that they don't even need. I mean, a few years ago I read that mascara and eyeliner sales for 8- to 12-year-olds had doubled. 

Erin: What?

Dannah: Why was there something to double? Why are these girls under the age of 12 wearing mascara and eyeliner? I don't understand. They're planting discontent. They're planting “if onlys” into our hearts. It's not a fair fight. 

Erin: Man, I know they put the candy and the toys right at the 5-year-old level at the grocery store. That it's not a fair fight. They're trying to get my kids to decide if only I could have that so that I will decide that I will give it to you. If only I could have some peace and quiet. So it really isn't a fair fight. And as we're talking about contentment, as we've been thinking about contentment as a team, we've talked about how contentment is so rare. 

If you asked me to name off 10 people or five people or two people who I see as truly contented, I would be struggling with that. I think what has happened is we really normalized being discontented. That's the norm. 

Dannah: Yeah. 

Erin: I thought the pandemic was going to teach me contentment, that I was going to come out of it grateful for what I have and content to whatever my circumstances were. But what I've learned is that I won't just automatically be content because I've been through a crisis. I need training in this area.

Dannah: You’ve found yourself looking for light fixtures after a pandemic.

Erin: That’s right. A remodel is happening over here.

Dannah: But here's the thing. What we've decided is that contentment is something that can be learned. The apostle Paul wrote this in Philippians 4. Let me read it to you. I know this one, but I I want to always give honor to my Bible. 

Erin: That's a beautiful Bible. I should get a Bible like that . . . if only.

Dannah: I know. I'm very excited about this. It’s my new one. 

Erin: It's beautiful. 

Dannah: Oh, no, don't make my Bible your if only, okay. It says in Philippians 4 that “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” (v. 11).

Remember, he wrote that from a jail cell. They're in that jail cell, he learned contentment. I have hope that we can learn to have Paul's perspective. And here's why it matters.

Listen, there are so many people who need the hope that only Jesus can give. Why would they want it if we who follow Him are just as discontent as everyone else? 

Erin: Yep. If you're saying this is a gospel issue, and that's what you're saying, you've got my full attention. It's not just about changing ourselves for the sake of changing ourselves. But for the sake of our witness. Melissa Kruger is with us this morning. She wrote a book on contentment. I'm dying to know what she learned in that process. It's called The Envy of Eve. She says this, “Discontentment is the hidden sin no one is talking about.” We're gonna talk about.

Dannah: Wow, discontentment is the hidden sin no one is talking about. You know what I wonder? I wonder if sometimes Satan is so sly with the discontentment that he even hides it from us as we are the one struggling with it. Like, is he making me blind to my own discontentment? 

Erin: I think so. 

Dannah: I think so too. Melissa is going to share four misconceptions about contentment. You're not going to want to miss it because it might just help you understand if you yourself are struggling. 

Erin: Yeah. And Leslie Bennett is here with us. She's a friend of Grounded, and you probably know her well. She has a big announcement for those of you who lead or teach women or serve as pastors’ wives. Around here at Revive Our Hearts, we think all women have the power of influence. You're all women of influence. So, this is for all of you. We've got some ladies from the Grounded Underground here this spring. Listen, you don't know what the Grounded Underground is, I promise they are going to delight you this morning.

Dannah: Well, you know what I think Erin Davis? I think this episode would be stellar if only we had our friend Portia join us. Good morning, Portia.

Portia Collins Good morning. I'm here friends. I'm here. 

Dannah: Yay. 

Portia: Erin, as you were talking about all the if onlys that you want to fix. I was like, “Girl, I’ve got a running list of if onlys”—if only I had a bigger house. Y'all hear me say this all the time, but space is at a premium in here. So I need this episode today. 

Erin: I just want new lights and new walls.

Dannah: But Portia, are your toenails painted?

Portia: Actually, no, I scraped it off like last night.

Erin: I’ve got to know Portia, have you ever done that trick of just painting the toenails that show? 

Portia: That resonated so much with me, because I was like, oh man . . .

Dannah: Well, I'm happy to pass that life hack on to all the Grounded girlfriends. You may use it if you need it. 

Portia: Listen, I got some little peep-toe sandals. And I've just done like the two toes. I mean, just pitiful. So I'm here. We're here. 

Well, this morning's episode is going to be so good. Melissa Kruger is with us. She is a women's ministry leader, a wife, a mother, an author. The name of her blog is Wit’s End. And let me just tell you, I love that. I'm gonna ask her in a minute why it's called Wit’s End. But for now, let's welcome Melissa. Hey, Melissa. 

Melissa Krueger: Hey, Portia. It's so good to be here with you.

Portia: I am so happy to have you, and I'm ready to dig in. Okay, but I said I was gonna ask. This is the first thing: Wit’s End sounds, first of all, pretty cool, like the tagline for your blog. But basically, it’s meaning like having nothing possessing everything. That sounds like contentment to me. So tell us why you named your blog Wit’s End and how the quest for contentment began in your life? 

Melissa: Absolutely. It's funny. I didn't even realize that that little phrase started in the Bible. So many phrases start in the Bible. But it's actually in the Psalms. There's this lovely song that says they were really like drunken men—ou know, they were looking for their own solutions. Everything was going wrong; this big storm came up. They said they were at their wit's end. They cried out to the Lord in their distress, and He brought them into a safe haven. 

And so, it was this picture for me of how I often spend life, trying to figure out everything on my own. I think if I can get all my outward circumstances just right and everything settled, then I'll be content. In reality, it's in crying out to God that I'm going to be taken to the Safe Harbor, not in figuring out how to handle these storms of life because we all have storms of life. They're not going to go away. But what do I do in the midst of them? Do I try to formulate solutions that I can do? Or do I cry out to God in my distress? I find the Lord keeps bringing me to my wit's end to show me that I can't do it on my own and that I have to have Him. So, that’s where it came from. 

Portia: Yeah. I totally love that. I totally get it. I feel the exact same way. The Lord is constantly bringing me to my wit’s end, and it's to direct my attention back to Him. I want to zoom in on an article that you wrote, I think, back in January on contentment. And specifically in the article, you said that “it's helpful to understand what something is not in order to have a more correct understanding of what it is.”

I like that. We need to understand what contentment is not so we can really understand what it is. You mentioned four points to kind of flesh this out. I want to take them one by one. The first one was contentment is not a carefree existence. So come on and tell us the good stuff. 

Melissa: I know it's good news, right? Because if it is a carefree existence, none of us would ever have contentment. 

Portia: Right. 

Melissa: So that's the first point. Sometimes I think we hear Paul say what he said in Philippians, that Dannah read for us earlier about you have learned the secret of being content in all circumstances. But what we do is we interpret that to be all his circumstances were good. He kind of learned it, but he probably learned the secret to make all of his circumstances good. 

But if you read in 2 Corinthians, this is what Paul says, “We don't want you to be ignorant brothers of the afflictions we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself” (1:8).

What I love is when you read the Bible in all of its context, you start seeing these hidden things. So Paul wasn't saying, “My life is always good.” He is saying we despaired of life itself. We were so burdened. Ministry was so hard; we were so worn out; we were despairing. 

I find that actually encouraging. It doesn't mean I'm not content if I'm sometimes in really hard situations where I feel the actual despair. That actually helps me. It takes the pressure off. Contentment doesn't mean I have a Pollyanna attitude of life—all the time that I'm walking around saying it's good, it's good. Because it's it's not all good. It's okay to say it's hard.

Portia: Absolutely, absolutely. Well, you go to the second point. You say contentment is not the absence of relational conflicts and an anguish of heart. And that one hits home for me, because my favorite saying is, “People are going to people.” We are going to do the things that people do. So, speak into that a little bit. Flesh this one out for us. 

Melissa: Yeah, we know that Paul, and Peter had it out at different points over food sacrificed idols and what you can eat. I mean, they had these big debates in the early Christian church. That actually helps me sometimes because we look at our church world today. Sometimes if you go on Twitter for five minutes, you're thinking, Oh, my goodness, it's a hot mess out here. And everyone is angry at everyone. 

Well, the reality is, that's been going on in the Church. We're having debates and disagreements about what's right in the Church. That's fairly normal. We can do that in a discontented way. But we can also do it in a way that's not in opposition to contentment. 

And the other thing is, Paul really deeply loved the people he ministered to. He felt what they fel. It's right to mourn with those who mourn. I'm not supposed to look at you. If you call me up and say, “This is so hard. I'm struggling through this.” My answer to you isn't, “Well, Portia, just be to be joyful.” No, I'm supposed to mourn with my sister who is mourning, and walking in those hard things, and saying, “Tell me more about how you're doing. How can I pray for you?” I can believe in this that the Lord is going to care for you. I'm gonna mourn with those who mourn. And I can do that and be contented. It’s okay to still feel things.

Sometimes I think we think we're not supposed to have any emotions if we're content. Emotions are a gift of the Lord. Jesus felt them, so we can feel pretty confident about that. 

Portia: Yeah, Dannah already touched on this reading from Philippians this morning, but this is what we see with Paul. He's very honest about what he feels. He also can say that I am content. I've learned how to live on a lot, a lot of stuff, or not have anything at all. And so, I can say he's very honest about that. I think the cues that we get from Scripture are the guide for us. So, point number three was contentment is not a life without longing and groaning in our distress. 

Melissa: Yeah, I think this is a big one. What we don't want to think is if I want to be content, I'm going to squelch all longing. We think if I just stopped wanting anything in this world, maybe then I'll be content. And so, what we want to do is hold our longings in such a way that they're right before the Lord. 

I like to describe it as two jugs of milk sitting in the fridge. And by just looking at them, it's hard to tell if one is sour or not. But you pour it out, and you start pouring and one has chunks and sinks, you're like, “That milk is bad.” We can have good longings. There's a right longing in this world because this world is not right. So when we long for justice, when we long for this world to be made right, that's our right looking forward to heaven. There are good things we look at this world, and we look at our own hearts. I long to be a better mom. I long not to lose my temper. Like that's a good holy discontentment to not be okay with my sin. 

That's a good place to say, “I should long to be more in the image of Christ.” There are good longings out there. It's just being able to say, “When has my longing soured?”

I think there's some key signs about longings that have soured. And normally it's, I'm mad at everybody. It just squeezes out in some places. We don't want to say longing all together as bad. Jesus longed. I mean, the Garden of Gethsemane, He said to the Father, “Take this cup from Me if it's Your will.” If anyone knew the Father's will, it is Jesus. And He still asked. So I think we can ask the Lord, “If it's Your will, take this cup from me, this burden feels too big for me to bear.”

We can ask that. But I think the contentment for Jesus was shown in . . . if it's Your will. He trusted the Father's will so deeply that He could long well in the midst of not having something and knowing he was getting ready to go to the cross. 

Portia: This is so good and needed. I'm just soaking it all in. So, let's go ahead and go to number four, contentment is not freedom from fear and anxiety. I feel like your last point kind of segues beautifully into this, so touch on it for me. 

Melissa: Yeah, it's interesting. Paul says these words, “Even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within.” (2 Cor. 7:5). I think sometimes we think the apostle Paul was the super apostle who walked through earth. And yet, “I'll go to Rome, I'm not worried about going to prison.” It's good to know that these men were human saints, men and women who have gone before us, were human.

I think the reality is what we want is to increasingly become people who fear the right thing. The older I get, the more I look in Scripture. I look at what's the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. And so, it's not wrong to sometimes have fears and to struggle, but it's what do we then do with them? Do I go to the Lord in my distress? Or do I try to control my circumstances? 

I would say most of our discontentment flows from trying to look to myself or other humans to solve my fear and my anxiety or whatever problems they might be, rather than continually going to the Lord, with my fears. He knows them. He knows we don't have to try to hide them from Him. That's why He says He's a shield. That's why He says He's a refuge in times of troubles, because there are real times of troubles. 

When I think of the Psalms, and I think of David. And this is a band of angry men around me, that was really happening to him. He's not talking in theory. And so, we have real things in this world that are terrifying and fearful, but we can go to the Lord with them and rest in Him and trust in Him. He promises that the peace that transcends all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. So we in the midst of a fearful world that can take hold of the peace that only Christ can offer.

Portia: Amen, amen. Well, God's Word is certainly where we should look as we war against discontentment. I want to ask you, Do you have a passage of Scripture that you typically claim to to help you remember how to be content or just what God says about the blessings of contentment? 

Melissa: Yeah, there's a verse that comes back over and over to me. It goes in my mind a ton, and my Bible is really not near as cute. So, I'm saying to the cute Bibles out there because this one is worn out. But it says this, 1Thessalonians 5:16–18. 

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 

And that passage can sound so trite, and we can use it and trite ways, like, rejoice always, pray in all circumstances. But what grounds it is the last part, for “this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”

This is not some random circumstance that's happening to you. Whatever you're going through is perfectly measured out by the Father who loves you enough that He sent Jesus Christ to die for your sins. That's who we're talking about. And so, He holds our circumstances out to us. He says, “Can you trust Me with this? Can you trust Me enough to know I have redeemed your soul that I have bought and paid for you? I am taking you to a place where there will be no more crying, no more tears, no more sorrows. I'm taking you there. All I'm asking for you is today, can you trust Me? Can you trust Me with this enough to still praise Me because I'm reigning over it all?”

And so, to me there's this moment of . . . It turns my heart to say I can still rejoice because it is well with my soul today. It can that can never be taken from me, the thing that will secure me for eternity is mine securely, and it can never be taken for me. So take whatever you will in this world, Jesus is has me. And so that can never be taken. I have an eternal source of joy that I can feel even on the darkest day. That's what I hold on to on those dark days

Portia: Amen, amen. That's something that we don't have to say “if only” about, because He holds us. He has us, and we're secure. I'm so thankful this. These were wonderful reminders. Thank you so much, Melissa, for being with us today. We're going to drop a link to your article “4 Misconceptions about Contentment,” and to your book, The Envy of Eve. So fun fact, I did this. I started this with some sisters from seminary. It is such a good book. So we're dropping a link to that. We thank you so much for being with us. 

Melissa: Thanks, Portia. It's been so fun to get to chat. 

Portia: Yeah. 

Dannah: What a great conversation. I have been really touched and challenged and so have our Grounded girlfriends. I've been watching the comments. I need to just read a couple of them. One is very poignant. I want to make sure our Grounded sisters are praying. Judy Richardson writes, “Thank you for addressing the need for comfort.”

Yeah, we still need comfort when we're seeking contentment. “My son took his life 10 months ago.” Judy, I'm so sorry. We just want to acknowledge that loss so that we can all pray for you. And then Judy writes, “I've learned things have little value, lives matter.” So true. Thanks for reminding us. 

I want to read this comment too from Anne. She writes, “Living cross culturally, we feel so bombarded when we visit the United States. And suddenly, we feel like we need all these things we never even knew existed. It's very difficult on our kiddos.” 

You know, speaking of that marketing, marketing messages really do train our brains to be discontented. That serves the industry as well. And at the same time, we can choose to expose ourselves to messages that remind us to be happy with what God has given to us. 

Listen to this short clip from Damaris Carbaugh as she shares a jingle with us that can really change our lives.

Damaris Carbough: This is not in the script. I'm going to stop for 30 seconds to tell you something. I did jingles for many years. I sang commercials. They haven't gone away. Have you noticed? Why? Because they work. People get degrees in marketing because when you push something the right way, people will buy it, people will get it. So, I have a jingle for you tonight. Do you want to hear it?

“Read your Bible.”

Just saying. I'm embarrassed to tell you how long it took me. But everything that has blessed you this day has come from women that are saturated in the Word of God. Not just preparing sermons, but living like the song that I sang, which I did not write, but I thank God for the writers. I want to live in Your Word until Your Word is living in me, amen. 

Dannah: I always fall in love with my Bible every time I hear Damaris speak. And since she has encouraged us to read our Bibles, that's what we're going to do right now.

We're going to go back to that whole idea of if only. I wonder if you've ever said this, “If only we had meat.” It's not really a girlfriend kind of thing. Maybe your husband said, “If only we had meat” if you've had a vegetable-based meal. But that's what the Israelites said when they were wandering in the wilderness. You see, they'd run out of livestock and food supplies, and they had a very legitimate need. 

And ladies, let me remind you, these moms and grandmas had been camping in the wilderness, not for like a long weekend of family bonding, but for two years. We are not talking the glamping. They were probably tired of leaky tents, dusty toddler toes, and windy bathroom facilities, if you know what I mean.

They were sick of trying to cook over makeshift fire, and they were over it. Forget the kid thing. “Are we there yet?” Mom and Dad were saying it. Yes, their need was legitimate. But the way they responded to their need was not. 

You have your Bibles handy? Turn to Numbers 11. I'm going to read to you verses 4 and 6. It says. “Now the rabble . . .” I don't know what the rabble were, but I don't want to be it. “. . . the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, ‘Oh that we had meat to eat!’ We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing . . .” Of course it costs nothing. They were slaves. When you have a slave and you want them to work, you feed them for free.

“We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”

Now the rabble that was among them, they had this strong craving, but it wasn't the first time. It wasn't the first time the Israelites fussed for food. That first time God made that amazing manna that they're tired of looking at, and now that miraculous food is not enough. They are discontent with what God has provided.

If only they had meat. You know, doesn't it usually work like that? Erin mentioned earlier that progression of discontent. We start by saying if only fill in the blank. Sometimes God supplies, but then we just find another “if only” to lament. That is the progression of discontent. Now just in case you can identify, I think I should probably tell you what God says about the Israelites “if only.” If only we had meat” in Numbers 11 verse 20. God says, “You have rejected me.”

Wait, what? They just wanted some meat. Something to put on the barbecue? No, no, that's not what God says. They were not satisfied with God and God alone. God was not enough. That is the ultimate discontentment.

And you know what I think inside each of our “if onlys,” if not most of them, is is one of the greatest lies that exists: God is not enough. God plus meat, that would be enough.

What's your “if only”? What's the one thing you crave so much that you believe you cannot be okay without it? I'm talking about a legitimate need. A new job? A bigger paycheck? A husband? A friend? An end to your current trial? A healed body? You might think these are needs . . . a blessed bubble bath just once in a blue moon without your toddler trying to stick his toes inside.

Is it possible that you're believing the lie that God is not enough? Are you discontent with what He has provided for you? 

Here's an interesting thing about that whole 40 years in the wilderness thing that the Israelites had to endure. It was only a test. How do I know? Well, if you flip back to the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 8, verse 2, it says

“The Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart.” 

It was only a test. He wanted to know what was in their hearts. You know, actually as even as I say that, I think He's God, so He already knew what was in their hearts. Perhaps the testing was so that they could know what was in their own hearts.

Maybe He wants you to know what's in yours. Friend, I don't know what you're going through right now. You might be really, really uncomfortable. You might be in deep pain.

Lean in so you can hear me clearly. This is only a test.

I have a dear friend named Leah. Right now she's in a wilderness. She's sitting by her husband's bedside in the ICU, and she's passing her test. This is a hard test. Every text, every Facebook update, she communicates with gratitude for what God has done.

She doesn't talk about her “if only” if only God would heal my husband, if only I could bring him home. She's telling God what she needs; she surely is. And we're telling God to along with her. But even as those words are flavored with need, they're also seasoned with gratitude, full of what God has done. What's coming out of her heart in this test is beautiful. 

I want to be like her when the next test comes for me. Now, I don't know about you, but I like to study for my test. So, here's one of the chapters you need to study for when God gives you the test of contentment. We've been in Paul's writing all morning. Philippians 4:6–7 says, “Do not worry about anything, instead, pray about everything.” 

Listen to this. Tell God what you need. And then thank Him for what He has done. Then you will experience God's peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. How do you pass the test of contentment?

Tell God what you need. As you just heard, contentment does not mean you cannot tell Him what you need. Tell Him. He cares. He sees. But do not, do not I plead with you, do not fail to thank Him for all He has done. Be grateful right there in your place of need. 

So your equation for contentment goes a little bit like this, your need + a thankful heart = contentment. 

Erin: So good, Dannah. This whole episode is confirming a thought I've had for quite a while, that the biggest area of sin in my life is ingratitude. The one that we naturally name or ask for prayer for.

I think it is the root of so much other stuff in my life. I know that if I was in the wilderness, I would grumble about that manna. I would. 

Dannah: Yeah, I feel you. Ingratitude is such a passive sin. But I think you're right, we need to call it what it is. 

Erin: We need to call it what it is, which is sin. I appreciate your teaching so much.

Dannah: Thanks, friend.

Erin: I love it when you teach the Bible. It's my favorite part of Grounded

Hey, it's time for us to give you the good stuff so that you can stay grounded. And today, we've got a recommendation, especially for leaders. I know just the gal to tell us all about it. Welcome back to Grounded, Leslie Bennett. Leslie is the Director of Women's Ministry Initiatives here at Revive Our Hearts. Good morning, Leslie.

Where's Leslie? 

Leslie Bennett: Good morning, Erin. It's Monday morning. What can I say? 

Erin: Trigger finger. That's okay. We got you.

Leslie: I'm glad to be here. 

Erin: Oh, we're glad to have you. Hey, Leslie, you've been planning something really, really special just for leaders. And it's tomorrow (Tuesday, June 8). So we’ve got to get it out today. I want you to tell us a little about it. 

Leslie: Yes, it's called the Prayer-Saturated Ministry Webinar. Tomorrow night, 7 to 9 p.m. EDT We have gathered all the prayer movement leaders that so they can train us up in prayer. We want our ministries to be drenched, soaked in prayer because we believe that leaders can do nothing unless we pray. So, can I tell you who's coming? 

Erin: Yeah, I want to know. Actually, I already know, but tell the people. 

Leslie: Nancy is going to be there, of course. Nancy has said that this event for leaders is one of the most important events that we will be doing this year. She's going to be sharing some of the distinctive ways in which Revive Our Hearts in every piece and particle of our ministry is woven in prayer. We've got Pastor Bill Elliff coming to share with us and Kathy Branzell, who is the President of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. 

They are going to equip us with tools that we can use in our ministries. But hey, we're not just going to be talking about prayer. We're going to be praying. That's what we're often so very much guilty of. 

So, the leaders that are joining us, they will have the opportunity to be not only prayed over as well, but to participate in crying out with like-minded leaders. I know God is stirring my heart to want to pray more and more and to see more of His power on my ministry. I'm excited for tomorrow night; it's gonna be lovely. 

Erin: And Leslie, I know there's a woman listening who's thinking, Well, I'm not on staff at a church, but she is a leader. So, it is for women. You're leading your children? Your’re training . . . or you have influence over your friends, your family. So, we want you to learn how to have a prayer-saturated ministry. Hey, you know this already, Leslie, but the Bible tells us that God will do more than we ask or imagine when we ask Him. I want to hear what is your wildest dream, the biggest thing you could imagine God will do through this person, through the ministry webinar. 

Leslie: Well, the way I've been praying for this webinar is that God would be pleased to use each one of us that attends, and He would use us to start a movement of prayer, wherever He has placed us and whatever that sphere of influence. I’m asking that He would use us to do something really great for God's kingdom as we invite other people to come and join us as well.

Erin: Now, I've said about you before, you're not a prayer warrior. You are a prayer general and your heart is to see revival. 

Leslie: Yeah, for sure. 

Erin: All revivals start with prayer. So we’ll see if God will do more than we could ask for or imagine. Let us know, how do we sign up? How do leaders sign up for this webinar? 

Leslie: All right, well, we're going to drop the link to the way that you can get signed up today. When you register, you'll also get tomorrow night a notebook from the webinar and some discounts to us at the Revive Our Hearts store. We look forward to seeing you there, so just click that link and get signed up. 

Erin: Okay, Leslie, you're also a part of something really, really special. We call it the Grounded Underground. The women you meet regularly via Zoom, you stay connected with every single week. You fast and pray for the women who watch Grounded. So Grounded really is a prayer-saturated ministry.

Leslie: It is.

Erin: It has been from the beginning. We're so grateful to have you and some other members of the Grounded Underground here to pray. So, Joy McClain, I want to welcome you to Grounded. You lead the Grounded prayer team. We call for prayer those of you who pray so faithfully about once a week. Nicole messages me how she's praying for me, and the Lord uses it to minister to me so often. We invited you here this morning because none of us can fight discontentment in the flesh. We need God to help us. We're going to enter into a short time of prayer as we're wrapping up this episode. And Nicole, would you pray for women to be content in our homes?

Nicole Furno: Thank you so much, Erin, I would love to.

Let's pray. Heavenly Father, we come before You today God. We thank You that You are so holy, You're so righteous, You're so merciful. You are the beautiful one. You are more than we can imagine. And Lord, we thank You that we can come boldly before Your throne of grace this morning. God, You don't just hear our prayers, but You answer our prayers. And so, Lord, we ask and we seek, and we know how can we come before You with our request God. You are faithful, and You are the one who can do exceedingly abundantly more than all we asked or imagine in our lives and in our homes and in our relationships in our circumstances.

And Lord, this morning I think of John chapter six where Jesus says, “I am the bread of life, and whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” And so, Lord, some of the some of us this morning, we're hungry, we're thirsty, we're weary. And yet, we've turned to other things of this world to fill us. So, Father, forgive us for when we turn to other things besides You to satisfy us. Lord, if only we would turn to You, you would fully satisfy us.

God thank You that in Christ we are temples of the Holy Spirit. Lord, this is an incredible truth. This is an incredible promise that were sealed with the Holy Spirit with a Comforter with the Counselor on the inside. Lord, thank You that You're dwelling places in our hearts. And because Your Spirit dwells within us, that here in our homes we can experience Your glory in the midst of our everyday lives; we can experience Your glory and in the midst of our ordinary; we can experience Your glory. In the midst of our routines, we can encounter You the living God, even when we're just sitting at our kitchen table, or we're doing dishes or folding laundry or picking up toy again and again. Lord, thank You that Your Spirit is with us and that You see us. 

And so, Lord, I pray for any woman who feels today like her work at home is mundane, or it's trivial, or that it's insignificant. God, the truth is all of our work can be worship, when we do it unto You. Lord, you tell us whatever we do to work heartily as working for You and not for men. And so, Lord, for any woman who feels unseen today, for any woman who feels discontented at her home, because she feels like what they're doing is going on notice, I pray that they would be reminded and encouraged today of the truth of who You are. And that is that You are the God who sees. You see our efforts, Lord. You see the work we do in our homes. May we do it heartily unto You, dear Father.

Lord, I pray that You would satisfy us this morning with Your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all of our days. So, Father, fully satisfy each sister tuning in. Father, as we seek You may we rejoice every day, all of our days because of Your provision in our lives and in our homes. Father, thank You, Jesus for being our sustainer. Thank You for being our Bread of Life. Thank You for the satisfaction we find in You. I pray all these things in Jesus’ name.

Erin: Amen. Man, Nicole when you call the Lord the Beautiful one, all my “if onlys” sort of fell away. That's the power of worship, isn't it? Joy, you are aptly named. You bring so much joy into my life and into the lives of others. I would ask you now if you just pray for women to be content in our work, or our areas of influence outside of our home. 

Joy McClain: Absolutely. Exodus 33:14 reads, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace, whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.” Oh Father, let these words sink deep, deep into our souls. Lord, I pray for women who are struggling in their workplace or their sphere or spaces of influence. Father, You see their struggles. You see their frustration, their worries, their concerns, how things just don't line up in their mind for them. Lord, help them. Show them, reveal to them the promises in Your Word that You will be with them. You will go with them. You dwell smack in the middle of wherever they dwell and You never leave nor forsake. 

Lord, let their response to all that's going on, to Your grace and mercy, be one of gratitude and desire to enjoy to relish in contented intimacy with You. Father, I pray against restlessness and boredom, a short attention span and short-sighted sufferings.

Lord, I pray that Numbers 18:20 would just rest in their hearts where You said, “I am your portion, and your inheritance.” Father, that they would desire You and what You give them and not the world. Lord, there is opportunity we know to be an example of trusting You. Things are hard when the world shifts and spins around us. Lord, even in that we need Your Grace. We need Your mercy. 

You are willing and You lavishly pour out upon us when we cry out to You, Father. You are there for Your children. You are there for Your daughters whom You adore. Guard their minds against what the world says, what the workplace says, maybe what their career is for them. Lord, help them to not desire what it all says, all the voices that tell them who they are or tells them a measurement of their success. 

God, You know who they truly are. They are Yours in the mundane in the crisis, our response, and how we conduct ourselves. Lord, we need your grace. You love to give us who You are, a portion of Yourself. You are all that we need. Lord, You are our inheritance, our peace, and our rest. 

Father, no matter what we face this day, no matter what our struggles are, let us know that none of that is wasted—nothing we go through, nothing we struggle through, nothing we work through. With You by our side, none of that is wasted. You're always growing us and drawing us closer to You. May we be allied to those around us in our spaces and in places of influence in our workload. Wherever we are, Lord, may we look like contentment and Jesus, by Your grace and mercy is the only way, Father. 

Help us to be students and to desire you Your Word, Your presence. We thank You for Your endless grace and mercy upon our lives. It's in Your precious holy name we pray, amen. 

Leslie: Amen. 

Erin: And finally, Leslie, I'm discontent in this whole world. I don't want to live here anymore. I want the Lord to come back for us. But we're here. Would you pray for us to be content in a very broken world? 

Leslie: I’d be honored to. Father, I thank You for the truth of Psalm 16:5 that says, “The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup.” And yet, Father, the truth of the matter is, we often choose other things besides You. We’re so easily satisfied with the things that the world offers us. Oh, Father, I'm reminded the day that I can choose You over anything else that this world might offer to me. That would only satisfy me for a short period of time, and then leave me more empty than I was before. 

Oh, Father, truly You have said through Your Word that we have everything we need to be content, because we have Jesus. Hebrews says that Jesus would never leave us nor forsake us, that we can be content, and that we have all that we need. When we choose You, oh Father, our cups will overflow with the joy and the love and the peace and the grace and the kindness of Yourself. 

In Psalm 16 also says that we will not be easily shaken when Jesus is our portion and our cup. So help us. Oh God, help my sisters, help me Father, to choose Jesus every day.

Jesus only because You drank the cup of God's wrath, my cup is sweet. It satisfies me like nothing else. Your cup, oh Jesus is a bottomless cup of love. And Father, we thank You for Psalm 16:11 that assures us that in Your presence there is fullness of joy. Our hearts can bubble up with joy. Every day at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. 

We are secure in You and truly our boundary lines have fallen into beautiful places. Indeed, we have a beautiful inheritance with You. Jesus, help us to keep our eyes fixed on You in this broken and hurting and hard world in which we are living in now. Knowing that our future is secure and laid up in heaven, we will be with You one day where there is no tear. No more tears, no more pain, no more sorrows, no more, “if onlys,” no more disappointments—that is our destiny. May we live each day in light of that, for Your sake, for Your glory for Your great renown. We pray all these things in the matchless name of Jesus, amen. 

Portia: Amen, amen. 

Erin: Thank you Grounded Underground. We know you're praying.

Portia: Thank you so much.

Well, Dannah, I know you say you don't like math. But you introduced an equation to us today. I kind of liked it, because I don't like math either. But you said, tell God what you need + thank Him for what He's done = contentment. 

Dannah: Yep, that's my kind of math. I'm allergic to the kind with numbers. That's what I call a word problem that I can understand.

Erin: That’s a good one. It's not the kind of word problem that's like one train leaves El Paso.

Dannah: Yeah. The trains never get where they're going when I'm doing the math. Okay, here's another one. I like: Jesus + nothing = everything.

Erin: That’s so true: Jesus + nothing = everything. Which means I have everything. I have everything. Sisters, we have everything. So that means we need to live like it this Monday morning this week for the rest of our lives because we have everything in Jesus.

Portia: Amen and yeah, because what we do, then everyone will see that our contentment is in Him, in Jesus. And you know what? They might just want what we have.

Erin: I think they will. 

Dannah: That’s the goal. . Let's wake up together next week friends on Grounded.

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About the Hosts

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh

When Dannah Gresh was eight years old, she began praying that God would use her as a Bible teacher for “the nations.” When she sees the flags of many countries waving at a Revive Our Hearts event, it feels like an answer to her prayer.

Dannah is the founder of True Girl which provides tools for moms and grandmothers to disciple their 7–12 year-old girls. On Monday nights, you’ll find Dannah hosting them in her online Bible study. She has authored over twenty-eight books, including Ruth: Becoming a Girl of Loyalty, Lies Girls Believe, and a Bible study for adult women based on the book of Habakkuk. She and her husband, Bob, live on a hobby farm in central Pennsylvania.

Portia Collins

Portia Collins

Portia Collins is a Christian Bible teacher and writer/blogger who enjoys studying and teaching Scripture.  Portia is the founder of "She Shall Be Called" (SSBC), a women’s ministry centered on helping women understand and embrace true biblical womanhood through solid study of God's Word. To learn more about SSBC, visit www.sheshallbecalled.com.  Portia and her husband, Mikhail, have a daughter and currently live in the Mississippi Delta. 

Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra is a sinner who believed in Jesus at the age of seven in her native country, Dominican Republic. She is a wife and homeschool mom. She's passionate about Christ, studying the Scriptures, discipling, teaching, and learning alongside women. Currently, she supports her husband as he serves as a church planter in Victoria, BC, Canada. Alejandra loves herbs, designing headbands with her daughter, being outdoors, and serving her community.

About the Guests

Melissa Kruger

Melissa Kruger

Melissa Kruger serves as the Director of Women’s Initiatives for The Gospel Coalition. She’s the author of multiple books, including Growing Together: Taking Mentoring Beyond Small Talk and Prayer Requests and Wherever You Go, I Want You to Know. Her husband, Mike, is the president of Reformed Theological Seminary and they have three children.