Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
~ Philippians 4:11 ~
When I think about today and so many things contending for our attention and first place in our lives- contentment (let alone Christian contentment) is pushed to the back burner.
Living in a world constantly pushing the next latest fad – the newest phone, latest music trend, food or fashion craze-the word contentment can be the farthest thing from our minds. Contentment is becoming a thing of the past, as many jump on the bandwagon of the newest thing. Contentment is like a moving target – hard to hit, but everyone has a chance to attain it. It is not easy to cultivate a mind of contentment.
Jeremiah Burroughs said that Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of Spirit that freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.
Did you catch that? The word disposal and how our Lord helps us find contentment in releasing. The release of the burden of reaching for more, but often still feeling empty. The release allows us to walk by faith and find contentment every season. I am learning seasons are not always packaged the way we want. Lately, I have been asking myself three questions and attempting to seek God for the answers.
- How can I find contentment regardless of life circumstances?
- In what should I find contentment?
- What is the relationship between desires and contentment?
The Lord has challenged me in this area, and I have sometimes fallen short. Yes, I am thankful for what the Lord provides. But sometimes, I fall into the trap of “comparison.” Not necessarily comparing with others but with myself and opportunities missed in the past due to disobedience and sin. Friend, if we do not release our past into our Father’s hand, we can find ourselves unsettled and stuck in the mire of past regret. I am learning that our focus shifts when we acknowledge our limitations to a Heavenly Father (repentance) and allow Him to transform and develop us. We find contentment in our relationship with Christ, and it deepens our reverence and worship for Jesus. Because in admitting our limitations, we access His strength and remove the possibility of depending on ourselves.
That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, He is made strong.
~ 2 Corinthians 12:10 NASB ~
When we rely on our limitations, we throw wisdom out the door and invite trepidation into the room. Or push out inner peace and suffocates our hearts with the desire for more and more stuff.
So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah, the Hittite?
~ 2 Samuel 11:2 NASB ~
Are you familiar with the story of King David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11)? His inability to be content with what he had caused a ripple effect of consequences. What began as a glance grew into multiple sins. David relied on authority, power, and prowess instead of his relationship with the Lord—leading to an affair, child out of wedlock, and deception. David later understood where and in whom to find contentment, Jesus Christ. I am thankful that Christ teaches us how to find true contentment in Him- the more intimate we become with Him, the more our focus will change.
What about you today? Are you willing to rely on His strength and receive His grace? Because He is ready to give it to you. When we depend on circumstances for our contentment, we become unhappy when things do not go our way. We are secure when we rely on Christ for contentment because He never fails.