Team Conference 2023
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Sunday Recap
April 25, 2023

Unique Discontentment


Don't just talk about it. Be about it.

Pastor Eli Nelson continued in the "Awakening Your Purpose" series with a message titled "Unique Discontentment." He opened up in 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, reminding us that God’s work and call in us is not our own doing. And because of this, if we are to boast—it shall be in the Lord.

“Therefore, as it is written: 'Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.'” 1 Corinthians 1:31 (NIV)

What is “unique discontentment?"

It’s a God given, incessant, unique agitation that is caused by a specific issue. In other words, Pastor Eli describes that the problems that “agitate” you the most are probably the problems you are called to solve. And if you ignore it long enough, it will eat away at your soul.

How do we find our “unique discontentment?"

Maybe you see poverty stricken children on TV and can’t help but donate and see how else you could help. It could be that the thought of abused or homeless animals drives you to open up your home to care for them. Or possibly you or a loved one has been in prison and you find yourself thinking often of ways to support the incarcerated. Where do you find your heart yearning for change?

The key is to know that everyone has a different “unique discontentment." It’s unique to each person, meaning where God has called you is not going to look the same as what God has called your neighbor or best friend to. We can’t look to our right and left to find our “unique discontentment”—our eyes must first be looking forward to Jesus and then inward to where our heart cries out.

What do we do once we find our unique discontentment? Go after it. We don’t wait for other people to get started on it—we move forward based on inward tenacity. Let your actions and your results speak louder than your words.

Nehemiah’s discontentment

While there are many in the Bible who had a “unique discontentment," Pastor Eli shared Nehemiah's story. The walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed, and its gates were burned with fire. In 1:4, we read about Nehemiah’s response:

“When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” Nehemiah 1:4 (NIV)

We also read more in chapter 2 on how downcast Nehemiah was over Jerusalem’s state. His sadness was so great that the king noticed and inquired of it.

“so the king asked me, 'Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.' I was very much afraid,” Nehemiah 2:2 (NIV)

Nehemiah wasn’t given a dream or a direct word from God on what to do, but he did receive a unique discontentment from the Lord and rather than let it just eat away at him, he went after it. He sought the king’s favor and then headed to Jerusalem to inspect the walls. To Nehemiah, it wasn’t important what anyone else was going to do—it only mattered what Nehemiah himself was going to do about it (Nehemiah 2:12). So without many knowing (2:16), he walked through Jerusalem examining the destruction. After examining, he said “let us start rebuilding” (2:17). And with the gracious hand of God on their side (2:18), the wall was completed in only 52 days.

William Wilberforce

Pastor Eli shared another great example of someone who had a “unique discontentment” from God. William Wilberforce, a Christian member of Parliament in the late 1700s, became very influential in the abolition of slavery in the British empire. In 1807, his efforts abolished the slave trade in the British empire. But this did not free those who were already slaves, so Wilberforce continued to work diligently for several more years until 1833 when the Slavery Abolition Act was passed giving freedom to all slaves. He died just a few days after hearing that his unique discontentment was resolved.

"A lot of us want to see a difference in the world, but we don’t want to step forward to be a part of the difference. Don’t wait for God to tell you what to do, but go in the strength you have." - Pastor Eli Nelson

Pastor Eli leaves us with some final practical advice: 1) Let actions and response show, not just your words, and 2) Start small, or you will not start at all. Do what you can before you are able to do what you want.

Start somewhere.

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