What is contentment? What does it mean to you? In this media heavy – keeping up with the Jones’ society we live in it is hard to find someone who is a true example of contentment. For the purpose of this post I googled the word contentment and came up with all sorts of definitions and articles, most of which revolved around situations and things. Contentment is defined as feeling fine and secure with who you are and what you have right at this moment. Right at this moment? What about the next moment? When we are looking at situations to bring us contentment we are missing the mark. We are missing the blessing that God has in store for us.
The Apostle Paul is an excellent example of Christ centered contentment. He knew what it meant to go without, to be alone, to be hungry to be imprisoned, to be beaten with rods and yes he was even stoned three times! Yet he found contentment because he continued to look to the Lord for his strength, for his hope and for fulfillment.
I am a little ashamed to admit that as I look back it is clear that I have spent a great deal of time living in a state of discontentment. For many years I allowed darkness to cloud my heart and keep me from experiencing contentment in Christ. I am happy in my situation and I am happy in my life. But am I content in the Lord? How can I know the difference?
Christ tells us how and Paul is our example. As I stated above, Paul’s life was wrought with hardship but he found the secret to contentment was to live on the basis of his position with the Lord. Contentment is not based on our feelings but on our recognition of our place as children of God. Contentment is an inner sense of rest or peace that comes from being right with God and knowing that He is in control of all that happens to us. It means having our focus on the kingdom of God and serving Him. It is not about money or things. If God allows us material comforts He has provided those through His loving hand and we should enjoy them. But we are not to pursue those things with greed in our hearts or through a need for earthly fulfillment.
I believe it was Charles Spurgeon who said, “Do not let being battered by difficult circumstances or people steal your contentment, also, do not be wrongly seduced by prosperity because a life centered on a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is what will bring true contentment.”
I can say without hesitation that I am content. I am happy and I am full of love. I can also say without hesitation that my peace, my contentment and my joy comes from my God in Heaven who has blessed me beyond measure.
How will you allow Christ to be your source of contentment?