Escape from life’s dudgery and stress sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? But what is the very best way to get away? A trip to the Bahamas or something better? This article by Donna Hart, PhD, first appeared here on her website and is used with permission.
Our American culture is one that often encourages us to escape.
When we feel tired and overworked can we say to ourselves, “I need a vacation?” Is there an underlying meaning in there that says, “I need to escape from the rigors of everyday life?” Is there a sense in which we are saying that it is permissible to escape from problems of life because as the saying goes, “You deserve a break today.”
I said, ‘Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Behold, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness.’ Psalm 55:6-7
Doesn’t it sound like the desire to “escape” from this world has been around for a few thousand years?
Have you wanted to escape far away from the pressures and realities of this world?
How Did Jesus Escape?
Jesus escaped from this fallen world at times. The difference is that Jesus did it without sin. He did escape from the pressures of the multitudes that followed Him and from His disciples as well.
The purpose of Jesus escape from the people is given in Scripture, as His wanting to be with His Heavenly Father. The escape Jesus turned to was spending time in intimate fellowship with His Father in heaven. Can you turn to God to cultivate your relationship with Him? Can you turn to God because He can solve your problems according to His will?
Does everyone deal with wanting to escape from painful circumstances or emotions caused by the hurt and rejection of a loved one? Perhaps you feel the hurt of rejection very deeply because of your tremendous sensitivity and tender-heart towards people. If you feel emotions at an extreme measure from a perceived rejection, is it essential that you learn to overcome those emotions by making cognitive choices to please God?
Do You Make Feeling-Oriented Decisions?
Can you habitually learn to respond to pain by doing things that are pleasurable and give you a short period of escape from the painful rigors of life? Did you expect that the pleasurable things would eventually rule you?
1 Corinthians 6:12 says,
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.
Those who run to pleasure rather than face the pain tend to make feeling-oriented decisions.
They feel emotions to the extreme. These lead to powerful influences that affect their behavior; sometimes leading them astray. Do we all need to learn to be ruled by the commands of God rather than by our personal emotions?
Yet God has allowed you to be right where you are. Contentment is learned by looking for the blessings and choosing to think on the circumstances as blessings rather then thinking of them as a curse. Does a loving Heavenly Father curse an obedient child? God does not curse His children but He does discipline them. Hebrews 12:6 says, “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.” Is God disciplining you right now?
Learning Contentment Where You Are
You must learn contentment by focusing your thoughts on the right things (Philippians 4:8).
- The repentant Christian no longer has to hide, lie, or attempt to appear perfect to other people because their identity is in Christ.
- You have faults, problems, and struggles in this life but Christ is able to strengthen you to overcome those weaknesses.
- The Bible says you are to become more like Christ Jesus every day that you live, but you are an imperfect creature dealing with the consequences of sin in a sin-cursed world.
- You will become more like Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit working in conjunction with the Word of God.
In what ways have you found it difficult to find contentment? I look forward to your comments.