The great French sociologist David Émile Durkheim in 1897 published his study of suicide rates in Europe. Among his discovery was that people experienced high moral confusion in times of economic depression (hard times) and also in times of economic boom (good times). This satisfaction deficit is linked to expectations.
In hard times, expectations are shattered, leading to disappointments and depression. In good times, expectations are overly ambitious, leading to disappointments and depression. How then are we to live whether in hard times or in good times, in order to avoid falling into the disappointment-depression hole of misery?
Paul, from jail in Rome, wrote to Christians in Philippi, and penned these wise words about satisfaction in Philippians 4:10-14 (MSG) (shortened): “I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess… I don’t have a sense of needing anything… I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances… Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am…”
Paul says “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am…”; Paul’s contentment and satisfaction is not in what he owns or does not have, it is based on faith in God. A faith that includes the knowledge that God is looking out for your interest in good times and bad times.
May we experience the satisfaction-contentment that comes from faith in God – that takes away depression from disappointments, Amen!