DEFINITION:  Dissatisfaction is a feeling of discontent and displeasure with circumstances in life or other people.  It is a feeling of unhappiness.


    The enemy causes dissatisfaction. The Bible says in John 10:10 that it is the enemy that kills, steals, and destroys.  If you are dissatisfied and unhappy, guess who stole your joy?   Jesus came to destroy the work of the enemy and to give you abundant life.  He wants you to be content and happy.

    Disappointments cause dissatisfaction.  Sometimes people disappoint you or your circumstances are disappointing.  Sometimes you disappoint yourself by failures.  Such disappointments can lead to dissatisfaction.  Dissatisfaction with your own performance or that of others leads to discouragement, and discouragement can lead to depression.

    Materialism causes dissatisfaction. The Apostle Paul warned Timothy: “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:9-10).  All the things that you want that seem so important are usually temporal.  Focus on the eternal (1 John 2:15-17).

    Dissatisfaction is sin.  When you are dissatisfied, grumbling, and complaining, you are actually blaming God for your circumstances,  implying that He is not providing adequately for your wants and needs. Israel was repeatedly dissatisfied with God’s provision in the wilderness.  They grumbled about lack of water and food.  Then they complained because the manna God provided was not as good as the leeks and garlic they had in Egypt.  God said their grumbling was sin, and judged it as such.

    Dissatisfaction leads to grumbling, complaining, unhappiness, and an unthankful and critical spirit.


    Recognize that dissatisfaction is sin.  As with other sins, you must confess and ask God for forgiveness.

    Ask God to give you a spirit of contentment.  The Apostle Paul declared:  “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength”  (Philippians 4:11-13).  He told young Timothy to be content with the basics of food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:8). The Hebrews were admonished to be content with what they had.

    Put your trust in God, rather than in people or things that will fail (Psalm 20:7-8; 44:6; 146:3).  That way you will never be disappointed or dissatisfied.  Your trust should be in God, not in man. Keep your focus on the Lord!

    Make positive changes in your life.  What changes can you make that will eliminate negative circumstances in your life?  What changes will bring joy back into your life?

    Return to the basics of Christian life.  Be faithful in prayer, church attendance, and the Word of God.  The Word of God is effective to facilitate change in any problem or circumstance of your life.  Dissatisfaction is a state of mind, and your mind can be renewed through the Word (Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:10).

    Cultivate friendships with positive people.  Avoid being a loner.  Satan wants to isolate you through dissatisfaction.  Deliberately spend time with believers who are positive and uplifting.  Do not hang out with negative, critical, judgmental people, as this will contribute to your own dissatisfaction.  Christian friendships with positive people will help you when you feel discouraged (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

    Do something for others.  This will take the focus off of things that are causing your dissatisfaction.  The joy you receive from doing acts of kindness will help eliminate your dissatisfaction.  When you see how tough some other people have it, you will be more satisfied with your own lot in life.

    Start a gratitude journal.  Write down at least one thing each day for which you are thankful.  This will help you remain focused on the positive instead of the negative.  It is the will of God for you to give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

    Recognize the difference between happiness and joy.  Happiness is based on outward circumstances.  When things are going good, then you are happy.  When circumstances are bad, you are unhappy.   Joy, on the other hand, is a spiritual fruit from God.  You can rejoice in every circumstance and the joy of the Lord gives you strength to face negative circumstances (Philippians 4:4, 1 Thessalonians 5:18).  Jesus faced the most difficult circumstances of His life with joy.  Although He knew the suffering that awaited Him in Jerusalem, He entered the city with a joyous procession.  In view of this, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross”  (Hebrews 12:2).

    Pray this prayer:  “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me”  (Psalm 51:12).



    …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.  (Nehemiah 8:10)

    Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.   (Psalms 37:3-4)

    My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? (Psalm 42:2)
    O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1)

    My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. (Psalm 63:5)

    Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. (Psalm 90:14)

    With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.  (Psalm 91:16)

    Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits–who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,

    who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,  who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  (Psalm 103:1-5)

    For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. (Psalm 107:9)

    You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. (Psalm 145:16)

    Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. (Psalms 146:3)

    Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?

    Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.  (Isaiah 55:2-3)

    The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land  and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.  (Isaiah 58:11)

    Blessed are you who hunger now for you will be satisfied. (Luke 6:21)

    Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”   (John 4:13-14)

    For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. (John 6:33)

    I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)

    If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. (John 7:38)

    The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  (John 10:10)

    I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.(John 15:11)

    For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, (Romans 14:17)

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.   (Galatians 5:22-23)

    Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.  (Philippians 4:4-9)

    Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:11-13)

    And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.(Philippians 4:19)

    Be joyful always;  pray continually;  give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

    But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. (1 Timothy 6:8)

    People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:9-10)

    Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,  “Never will I leave you;  never will I forsake you.”    (Hebrews 13:5)

    Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,  for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.  (1 Peter 1:8-9)

    His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3)

    Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.  (1 John 2:15-17)

    He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Revelation 7:17)
    “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. (Revelation 22:17)

    Read through the book of Psalms and underline all of the commands to rejoice and the reasons for rejoicing instead of being dissatisfied.

    (See also “Criticism And A Critical Spirit” in this database.)

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