contentment

“There’s no happier person than a truly thankful, content person.”

Joyce Meyer

On the one hand, as believers in Christ Jesus, we should be contented people, at peace with God, our neighbors, our family, and ourselves. There is a serene satisfaction in that kind of contentment which brings a sense of gladness, gratification, happiness, pleasure and quietude. Contentment in the positive sense means to feel we have enough, that what we have is sufficient. We can live without more. On the other hand, we need to be careful not to be so at ease that we strive for nothing, particularly that we cease to strive for godliness. There is a contentment in self-sufficiency that becomes laziness when we are so comfortable that we do not feel the need for God. Finding the balance between contentment that pleases God and contentment that displease Him is a daily quest.

I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.

Philippians 4:12-13 The Living Bible

So…? How do we find true peace and contentment?

There are many ways to have *here today and gone tomorrow* peace or what we think is peace, but genuine peace is found only in an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord!

Isaiah 26:3 The Living Bible

Forgiving those who we perceive as having wronged us is an important key to contentment.

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Matthew 18:21-22 NKJV

We must remember that satan will try to undermine our contentment:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

1 Peter 5:8 NKJV

True contentment comes from a proper perspective of eternity.

But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it, either.

1 Timothy 6:6-7 NASB

Contentment is not dependent on wealth, nor does it have to be stifled by poverty. Wealth by itself is neutral–neither good or bad. The key is to thank God for what we have and to use our time and resources to please Him.

We learn to be content in every situation when we are willing to give up all our life for God. Only then can we be truly set free to rest in the peace and security that God offers us.

Please, take a moment here to read and meditate on Psalm 107 as it is translated in the Message Bible.

107 1-3 Oh, thank God—he’s so good!
    His love never runs out.
All of you set free by God, tell the world!
    Tell how he freed you from oppression,
Then rounded you up from all over the place,
    from the four winds, from the seven seas.

4-9 Some of you wandered for years in the desert,
    looking but not finding a good place to live,
Half-starved and parched with thirst,
    staggering and stumbling, on the brink of exhaustion.
Then, in your desperate condition, you called out to God.
    He got you out in the nick of time;
He put your feet on a wonderful road
    that took you straight to a good place to live.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.
He poured great drafts of water down parched throats;
    the starved and hungry got plenty to eat.

10-16 Some of you were locked in a dark cell,
    cruelly confined behind bars,
Punished for defying God’s Word,
    for turning your back on the High God’s counsel—
A hard sentence, and your hearts so heavy,
    and not a soul in sight to help.
Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
    he got you out in the nick of time.
He led you out of your dark, dark cell,
    broke open the jail and led you out.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves;
He shattered the heavy jailhouse doors,
    he snapped the prison bars like matchsticks!

17-22 Some of you were sick because you’d lived a bad life,
    your bodies feeling the effects of your sin;
You couldn’t stand the sight of food,
    so miserable you thought you’d be better off dead.
Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
    he got you out in the nick of time.
He spoke the word that healed you,
    that pulled you back from the brink of death.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves;
Offer thanksgiving sacrifices,
    tell the world what he’s done—sing it out!

23-32 Some of you set sail in big ships;
    you put to sea to do business in faraway ports.
Out at sea you saw God in action,
    saw his breathtaking ways with the ocean:
With a word he called up the wind—
    an ocean storm, towering waves!
You shot high in the sky, then the bottom dropped out;
    your hearts were stuck in your throats.
You were spun like a top, you reeled like a drunk,
    you didn’t know which end was up.
Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
    he got you out in the nick of time.
He quieted the wind down to a whisper,
    put a muzzle on all the big waves.
And you were so glad when the storm died down,
    and he led you safely back to harbor.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.
Lift high your praises when the people assemble,
    shout Hallelujah when the elders meet!

33-41 God turned rivers into wasteland,
    springs of water into sunbaked mud;
Luscious orchards became alkali flats
    because of the evil of the people who lived there.
Then he changed wasteland into fresh pools of water,
    arid earth into springs of water,
Brought in the hungry and settled them there;
    they moved in—what a great place to live!
They sowed the fields, they planted vineyards,
    they reaped a bountiful harvest.
He blessed them and they prospered greatly;
    their herds of cattle never decreased.
But abuse and evil and trouble declined
    as he heaped scorn on princes and sent them away.
He gave the poor a safe place to live,
    treated their clans like well-cared-for sheep.

42-43 Good people see this and are glad;
    bad people are speechless, stopped in their tracks.
If you are really wise, you’ll think this over—
    it’s time you appreciated God’s deep love.

Are you glad, dear hearts? Or were you stopped in your tracks? Think it over! It’s time to appreciate God’s deep love.

God Is Love
“Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.

1 John 4:7-8 RSV

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