Escaping the Trap of Doubt, Discontentment, and Regret

Two weeks ago, I co-coordinated an event for the teen girls from church. I was asked to do the devotional, so I prayed about the topic. Talk about relationships? How to love God? After all, Valentines Day was approaching. Interestingly enough, below is what the Holy Spirit communicated to me to teach on- a study from the perspective of Eve, the first woman.


What I Needed to Understand as a Teen Girl 

Discontentment has numerous detrimental effects on our lives because it impacts our feelings and emotions. These emotions are then acted on, sending us on a domino effect of consequences, whether temporary or permanent, that cause regret and stop us from living our best lives. When you study Genesis 2-4, 3 major principles jump out.


1. Personalized Purpose (chp.2, v. 7-9)

  • Everything God made was spoken into existence except humans. God intentionally and personally formed Adam. He breathed His own breath into Adam’s nostrils (intimacy). Immediately after, God planted a garden for Adam.
    • God creates us with such intentionality and gives provision and purpose for us to be used uniquely on this earth (Jeremiah 1:5). Right now, whatever your age, you have purpose. Adam didn’t have to wait 10 years before living for God.
    • Don’t get tricked into thinking your time right now is resting time. Adam was formed and got himself right to work, and even when his workload was too heavy and he needed help, he kept working.
    • What gifts or talents do you have?  (Natural gifts, learned talents, and spiritual gifts) What are you doing in your garden (where God has placed you)?

2. Provided Partnership (chp. 2, v. 18, 20-23)
  • Eve was created as a partner for Adam, to help meet the needs of purpose, as a spouse. There, still, was intentionality in her creation.
    • The people who you surround yourself should be there to help you live for and accomplish something for God. Ask yourself: How are my friends that I’m spending time with helping me live better as a Christian?
  • Notice the absence of romance as the main reason they were brought together. The main reason they were joined together was to walk in God’s purpose. Let that sink in. That’s completely contrary to what the world teaches us. Every relationship in your life should somehow be connected to what God wants you to accomplish on earth. That’s the criteria for relationships. Need to reevaluate your friendships? Read this.

3. Place of Perfect Peace (Will of God) (chp. 2, v. 25)
  • * “Naked” represents transparency, nothing to hide. It means “without covering”. Adam and Eve were not ashamed because they were following what God wanted them to do. Have you ever been in class and nervous to share your answer aloud because you aren't sure if you fully understood what the teacher wants? Adam and Eve had clarity, just as we can through relationship with God. We don't have to walk in fear and can have peace in our actions when we have a relationship with God. 
  • Have you ever experienced shame? Shame is different from being shy. Shame is uncomfortable and embarrassing. When you are living in the way God wants you, there’s peace and joy and happiness. That’s what it’s like to be naked and unashamed. 


THIS IS HOW GOD WANTS YOU TO LIVE- purposefully, surrounded with Purpose Partners, in perfect peace in the will of God. 

If I would’ve truly understood that as a teenager, my life would’ve been completely different. Points 2 and 3 are dependent on point 1. Point 1 requires an active relationship with God which I didn't have as teenager. I went to church because I was raised in a Christian family, but I was caught up in the routines and rules of Christianity, instead of a true, active relationship with God. Since I wasn't actively seeking to understand who God was and who He wanted me to be, there was no way I could pursue purpose, surround myself with the right people, or have peace in the will of God. I had no clarity on what God wanted for my life because I didn't really seek to know. I had no clarity on my spiritual existence, and that made me an easy target for the devil to lead me into the trap of discontentment and regret.

When you DON’T have clarity on points 1-3, you’re unstable and you become more likely to be tricked by the devil.

4. Planned Parameters (chp. 2, v. 15-17)

  • God gave Adam and Eve parameters; boundaries. Remember God’s intentionality for creating us and desiring closeness with us? God knows us better than we do, so he puts restrictions to help keep us safe and in a place of peace.
    • Remember, He’s our Father. Think about your parents. They don’t let you do whatever you want (Hopefully, you have someone playing the role of accountability in your life). You don’t always understand why they have certain rules, but you can trust that they’re there to protect you. You don’t need to know everything. Be grateful for that. Focus on what God wants you to accomplish instead of worrying about the things He hasn't asked you to manage.
  • When we think we know the answers to everything, we are less likely to be submitted to those who want to help. That’s why God tells us in Matthew 6 not to worry in life because we get preoccupied and lose sight of focus on purpose for the Kingdom.

5. Persuasive Pest (chp. 3, v.1-6)

  • Have you ever known a sports team giving their plays to their opponents? That doesn’t make sense in sports, but we do it spiritually all the time.The serpent begins to question what God told Eve, and she starts explaining what God said to him. His only intent was to confuse her and convince her to disobey. He was the predator, and she was the prey (1 Peter 5:8)
    • You do not have to explain yourself and what God has told you to everyone because not everyone has good intentions. In sports, it’s not the job of Team A to explain to Team B what they’re doing. They make their plays and focus on winning and defeating the opponent. That's what we need to do in our spiritual lives. Get focused. 
  • That’s why you have to be mindful of who you allow around you. Pray about having the right friends. If you have people around you who are trying to tell you that what God said to you isn’t true, they’re probably not the people for you. This message really encouraged me.
  • The devil preyed on Eve’s doubt. She wasn’t fully convinced that God had purpose for regulating which tree they could eat from. Think about things you know as factual, like the sky being blue. The devil could tell you it’s not, and you wouldn’t entertain it because you’re clear that it’s blue. We are more likely to believe the hype of what the devil is trying to trick us with when we have doubt in our hearts about what God is doing. We disagree with God’s decision and that allows the devil to swoop in and convince us to do something contrary to what God said. 
    • As a teenager, I didn't understand God's plans for me because I didn't have a great relationship with Him, so it didn't take much work for the devil to convince me to be discontent and walk away from parameters God placed in my life.
  • Understand God’s intentionality. He formed you in your mother’s womb. He sees you. He makes decisions for you and puts safeguards around you, for reasons you may not even understand. It’s not your job to decide what you’re going to obey or not.
  • Eve's curiosity and willingness to entertain the wrong company led to her doubting God and then sinning. (V.6) She causes Adam to sin too. Adam was her purposemate. So her sin impacted someone else who was walking in purpose. Your decisions impact others.
6. Produced Pain (chp. 3, v. 6-8)
  • Notice how they didn’t kill, cheat, or any sins that we deem “really bad.” The first sin was discontentment with God’s plan and resulted in disobedience. Discontentment is a sin of the heart that no one may even know about. Far more people struggle with discontentment than murder, yet we don’t see it as that big of a deal. That's how the enemy can use it to wipe so many off of their path of purpose.
    • Being discontent will cause you to make decisions that go against what God wants for you, and going against God’s perfect plan will never work.
  • “And their eyes of them both were opened..” they lost the innocence God intended for them to have. When they were in the will of God, they were naked and unashamed. They were at peace. As soon as the devil convinced them to doubt what God said, they disobeyed, realized they were naked, and became embarrassed. That is what happens when we sin. Sin separates us from the things of God that He truly intended for us. It impacts our relationship with Him, and you'll lose your innocence out here. Walking in sin, contrary to God, will force you to grow up prematurely.
    • Think about your parents when they find out you’ve done something to disobey. They’re typically disappointed in you because they want better for you and know what happens when you make wrong decisions. God's reaction is the same. He's disappointed when we become discontent in His plans for us and when we go stray. He never desired for us to have to deal with the pain of sin, and sin will always bring pain. Maybe not physical, but the disruption it brings to your walk with God is painful. Knowing that you gave in to the devil and let him win, that’s painful.

7. Pulled Back Plan (chp. 3, v. 23-24)

  • God changed the plan as a result of their sin. Ask yourself: If God wants me to live my very best life for Him, have I caused him to reconsider the plan? Like Eve, have I believed the hype of what the devil tried to get me involved in? Was the fruit she ate of really worth what she lost? No. And I can attest to that. What I allowed myself to get caught up in as a teenager was not worth it. 14 years later, I'm still dealing with consequences from allowing myself to be discontentment with God's plans and then giving in to the devil's bait.

  • God wants you to be in a state of dependence on Him, walking in purpose, surrounded by people helping you to do so. But are you forsaking that because of doubt and discontentment in your heart? Don’t let the devil convince you or use other people to convince you that God’s plan for you isn’t good enough.Stay in the garden. At peace. Unashamed. Don’t believe the hype that the world tries to sell you through the devil’s temptations.

 Fighting Against the Discontentment,