In all of my life so far, I have been given great opportunities. I have been given a family. I have lived in many amazing places. I have lived in a wonderful, old home…yet, in all these things and privileges – my contentment doesn’t come from these things.
I have spent time seeking what I thought I wanted. I have dreamed, schemed and planned. But, my heart was never content. I have looked at others and thought, if only…If I had…that’s what I need.
But, thankfully, when all that I’ve pursued and thought I wanted came and at times were gone…I realized these things don’t provide any type or the right type of contentment.
Where does deep-down, real contentment come from? It’s really so simple. It comes from a relationship with God. He’s given the best He has to give out of a deep love for me. When I realized that and then realized that He’s ALWAYS with me no matter what, I found contentment. And this contentment has such a joy and peace embracing it.
Paul understood this when he wrote his passionate letter to the Philippians. He expressed deep and great love for them. He earnestly prayed for them. Not for material gain. Not for the pleasures found in this world…but, that they would come to understand the deep joy in knowing Christ. That they would understand the peace of God in their lives and in their hearts. Paul prayed that they would live in contentment with God.
He understood. In all of his experiences before and after coming to a faith in Christ…Paul understood true contentment.
“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 about: 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 strenghteneth me.” Philippians 4:11 – 13
Paul learned that everywhere he went and in every situation – Christ was with him. He learned of the amazing love of God and in all his circumstances – he knew he would never be alone or far from God’s love. This brought contentment to his heart and to his mind.
Paul understood that all we have in this world comes from God. He also knew that all situations in the end were for the benefit of God and of others. He understood that while we’re here there’s nothing more important than to live a life reflecting God.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain“. I Timothy 6:6
Paul was instructing Timothy how to live for God and how to minister. His instruction applies to us also. He instructed Timothy to flee certain things and to follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and meekness.
Because our lives have a purpose. We are to light the world with the love of God and to share with them just how important it is to know and to understand our need for Him…Knowing this, knowing our purpose and the never-ending love of God…in all things we can find contentment.
We may not go through the hardships and trials that Paul went through. We will have varied and different ones of our own. Christ himself told us that following him is not an easy path. But, and this is a very big and important but, He promised the Comforter. We will always have God with us – within us. Contentment. Not from those things around us or people around us. Contentment comes from His presence. Contentment comes from His joy. Contentment comes from His peace. Contentment comes in knowing He keeps His promises and that we will NEVER be alone and there’s hope in our presence and in our future.
So, live your life with joy in all situations. Live your life with peace. Live your life expectantly. Live your life so that there’s no doubt of the light that shines through you…
“Let your conversation be without covetousness, and be content with such things as he have, for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5