The reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord leads to life,
and he who has it rests satisfied [content];
he cannot be visited with [actual] evil.
Proverbs 19:23 Amplified Bible
I read something in my devotional this morning that really jumped out at me. “Contentment is not getting what you want. It’s enjoying what you’ve got!” Learning to live in contentment is an age-old problem. Solomon had this to say about it…“Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.” (Ecclesiastes 1:8)
And in the New Testament the Apostle Paul says in direct contrast, “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.” (Philippians 4:12-13) Now Paul doesn’t say that contentment is automatic if you are a Christian. I know many Christians who are very discontent. Nothing ever seems to be exactly right with them. Paul indicates that it is a choice we make. He says, “I have learned…to be content.” I’m going to make a confession here, which as you know, I do quite often. (Well, the Bible does say, “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another.” ) I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve thought, “If I were wealthy, I know I would be happy and content. I would have no stress and life would be a bed of roses!” But I have learned, as Paul did, if I can’t be thankful and content now with all the blessings the Lord has already given me, it’s not likely that I would be content then either. And if I’m waiting for wealth to make me content…am I to make myself miserable until it comes? Life is entirely too short to pollute even one day with self-inflicted misery! I know you’ve heard this saying more times than you care to, but the statement itself makes it perfectly clear on whose shoulders the responsibility of our happiness lies, and it is this: “Don’t worry, be happy!” The understood subject in this sentence is “you” (don’t worry)…“you” (be happy!)” The choice is yours. The choice is mine! Focus on what you don’t have and be miserable or focus on what you do have and be content.
A very large factor in pulling off this contentment thing is trust. Hebrews 13:3 says, “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.’” Do you believe that your Father God loves you? Do you believe that He has your best interests at heart? Do you believe that He is capable of meeting your wants and needs? Then tell me one reason you have for worry and discontent. It sounds to me like He has everything under control! Oh, it’s so wonderful just to rest in His love! You can rest in it when you remember that He sees the whole picture. He knows what is best for you and when it is best for you. Ruth Graham once said, “If it had not been for the grace of God, I would have married the wrong man…several times!” Sometimes God doesn’t give us what we want, when we want it, because He knows it’s not best for us. If we will just rest in the assurance of His love, how peaceful and content our lives will be! I don’t know about you, but that is my utmost desire.