Contentment seems so difficult to take hold of in this life and even harder to keep hold of. Yet, God makes it clear that contentment is not only possible, it’s necessary in order to live a Godly life in this world. Contentment is actually a great blessing from God that He intends to enrich and enhance our life. Contentment is not a characteristic we’re born with, it appears it must be learned. Even God’s handpicked apostle – Paul had to learn contentment.
Philippians 4:10-13 – I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. (11) I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (12) 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. (13) I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
So in order to experience contentment on a consistent basis we must be willing to humble ourselves and learn from God how to be content. The fact that even Paul had to learn to be content should be encouraging to us! Once we experience contentment we can begin to enjoy the great blessings that go along with it. (Proverbs 14:30) A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
It’s only natural to want to get ahead in this world, especially in the capitalistic, materialistic world we live in. But as Christians we’re challenged to take a little time to think about God’s definition of “getting ahead.” Paul writes to Titus, another true son in the faith to Paul, encouraging him to do this very thing. He challenges Titus and the congregation he served to think about what “getting ahead” in this world really means.
1 Timothy 6:6-9 – But godliness with contentment is great gain. (7) For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. (8) But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. (9) Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
When we truly learn to trust God and appreciate what he’s done for us as well as everything he provides for us we can truly learn the secret of contentment- Hebrews 13:5-6- 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.” (6) So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”