What is your definition of contentment?
If you think it means NO challenges, pain, or stress, then you will never live a contented life on earth! Jesus said we would have tribulation in this world (Jn 16:33).
Yet God wants us to be content, and even commands us to be (Heb 13:5). So we need to figure out what God means by being content and how the Apostle Paul could say:
…For 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. (Phil 4:11-13)
Paul wasn’t born contented. He had to go through many hardships before he penned those famous words. They were written about 30 years after his conversion. Within that time, he had many experiences through which the Lord could teach him (see 2 Cor 11:23-28). Here’s one example:
…We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God…. (2 Cor 1:8-10)
Paul’s mind had to be transformed into right thinking. He had to get God’s perspective on life. He was just a human like you and I. So there’s hope for us—if we’re willing to learn and apply!
Let’s see if we can discover the true meaning of contentment.
Happy enough with what one has or is; freedom from dissatisfaction, anxiety, or agitation. ~Webster
The ability to cope with the circumstances of life; an inner peace and sense of quietness and rest that is undisturbed by outward circumstances. ~ Charles Stanley
–Contentment doesn’t mean we are not to strive to be and do better.
Contentment is not a passive acceptance of the status quo, but the positive assurance that God has supplied one’s needs and the consequent release from unnecessary desires. ~Chip Ingram
There is a healthy tension between being satisfied and reaching for more. For instance, we should never be content with where we are in our relationship with God; there’s always room for growth with our infinite Lord!
–Contentment is not the goal, but a byproduct of godly living!
We are to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness (1 Tim 6:11).
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Mat 6:33)
The two greatest commandments are to love God with all of our being and to love others. Everything else hinges on these two mandates.
Therefore, contentment is a result of being and remaining in a right relationship with God. This is the biggest missing truth in the lives of most people!*
–Contentment is found in Christ, not in our circumstances; not in the absence of pain, but in the presence of Christ.
We need to meditate upon this truth and let it seep deep into the core of our being. This right perspective will then affect every aspect of our life, including emotions. We will get to the place where we actually feel satisfied—at least some of the time here on earth!
Until next time, my friends, deeply ponder that contentment is in the person of Christ Himself.
*Get my FREE and updated 7 Secrets to the Abundant Life for a better understanding. (See sidebar)
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