Contentment means happiness with ones situation in life. It is the rest and quietness of the mind in one’s present condition. As Christians we are challenged not to live our lives the way the world lives. JESUS left us a great teaching in Matthew 6:25-34. He cautioned all believers, not to live a life of worry. The kingdom lifestyle is that of righteousness, peace and joy in the holy ghost. Worrying about mundane things of life; what to eat or drink, what to wear and where to live reduces us to unbelievers..”because after these things do the heathens seek”.
But doesn’t it sound foolish not to take thought about the three basic needs of man and other needs we may have? Jesus answers “Your heavenly father knows that you have need of these things”. Jesus promised “In the world you will have tribulations.” This is one of the realities of being a follower of Christ. He never promised that all will be well with us on this side of eternity. Rather, that we should “be of good cheer for he has overcome the world.” Lack of basic needs;. Physical, emotional, financial, sexual, and social could be life threatening and unduly overwhelming. But Our lives do not consist in what we have or what we need. The kingdom lifestyle demands total dependence on God for everyday living. God wants us to be satisfied in him always no matter the situation of life we find ourselves in.
Here are 10 things you must know about contentment
Contentment does not mean absence of suffering. In Philippians 4:12 Paul said ” I know what it means to be in need and what it means to have enough. He has known lack and want just like any human. He has also known affluence. This acceptance of the suffering does not make us less Christians. It helps us rather to make a choice whether to dwell on our lack or upon the one who has asked us to trust him with our lives.
Contentment does not mean we should not endeavour to improve on our situation. “He who does not work should not eat” The Bible is replete with admonitions on why we must work diligently. Trusting God and being happy in the state he has left us at the moment does not mean that we should fold our hands and wait for manna to fall from heaven.
Contentment is gain. 1Timothy 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain. When you are satisfied with yourself and accept things the way they are with your eyes fixed on God. You are doing yourself a lot of good. Many people have destroyed their lives unwisely because they wish to be what or who they couldn’t be. Lack of contentment breeds worry. And worry is a fast killer. Heart related diseases always follow on its heels.
Lack of Contentment shows a lack of faith. Faith is the substance of the things not seen. It demands trust. If God says he will do something, he never renege on his word. He has promised to provide for our needs. When we fret and fume instead, it simply means that we do not trust what he’s promised.
Contentment can be learned. In Philippians 4:10b Paul said again, ” for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. This means that he didn’t know how to be content before. He had to learn. Learning comes by study and practice. When we dwell in the word of God. His word begin to dwell richly in us. It teaches us and transforms us. When we decide to obey him. We put what he has taught us into practice.
There is a secret to contentment. This is found in Philippians 4:13 “For I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” This was Paul’s declaration. I have found it very true in my own struggles. It is only by the grace that Jesus provides that we can serve him. Everything he would have us do, will also have us looking up to him for the ability to do so.
Contentment is a sign of spiritual maturity. 2Corinthians 12:10 “for Christ’s sake I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties, for when I am weak, I am strong”. Does this describe you? As believers we are considered mature in faith when we become more like Jesus. It is only peace and joy in unpleasant situations that will help us proclaim that we are made strong by him even in our weaknesses.
Contentment is available only to those that fear the lord: Job 36:11 “obeying and serving God brings prosperity and contentment. Proverbs 19;23 “the fear of the lord leads to life, then one rests content, untouched by trouble.”
Prayer is the key to contentment. Wishing for contentment, reading books about it, listening to sermons or taking studies on the topic cannot work it out in our lives. The only way to receiving the gift of contentment is to pray for it. Phil 4:6- 7 “do not be anxious about anything but in every situation by prayer and petition with Thanksgiving present your request to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
contentment makes us thankful. Knowing that Christ is enough and that “he who did not withhold his only begotten son but gave him up for our sake, will he not also with him freely give us all things?” It leaves us with a confident heart filled with appreciate for what God has done and what he can do.
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