The Bible clearly teaches that believers in Christ are to be contented. What does contentment even mean? Am I contented with my life in Christ? Why not? I’ve been pondering this topic this year along with Biblical joy and other subjects related to my desire and focus to cooperate with God more in my progressive sanctification process.
Here is some of what I think contentment does NOT look like: grumbling; complaining; wanting more than God has given; trying to manipulate and change things that I cannot change; feeling entitled to any good thing, forgetting all good gifts are given by God by grace; being unwilling to forgive anyone who has hurt me; and being fearful to face a trial or getting angry at God when He allows another hard thing in my life. What I think contentment DOES look like: thankfulness/gratitude to God; acceptance of the things I cannot change and willingness to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference (from the AA prayer); wise, prayerful petitions to God for my desires and needs, but always in accordance with His will and timing, and not my own (ouch); waiting on God before speaking, doing, or manipulating situations I should not, yet also acting and not holding back when I am called to effect change or give help (so hard to have wisdom on this); remembering I am a sinner only deserving of God’s righteous wrath, but instead I am being given so many blessings and gifts, not the least of which is my calling and eternal security in Christ; being willing to forgive those who hurt me no matter how many times it takes (so hard); and asking God for courage to face yet another trial/difficulty and remembering He is working all the hard stuff out for good in my life for a purpose I may not yet be able to see.
Boy– is it hard to remember to be contented sometimes in the heat of battles and in the midst of more bad news and difficulties. But this is not just a nice thing to have in my life now and then — it is a command from God’s Word/Christ to live every moment in contentment. Contentment seems closely related to trusting God—always trusting that everything He is allowing in my life is for a purpose and being used by Him for good–even the hard things–even sickness — even relationship hurts, etc. etc. etc. I’m praying for me and for all my loved ones to find this elusive contentment in Christ. Our only hope is to pray for God’s grace to help effect it in us.
I realize we are all capable of doing research and to use the internet to learn more about Biblical contentment, so I will just include one article reference here for convenience which is one of many good articles I easily found on contentment. https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-contentment.html (I personally love gotquestions.org.)
Philippians 4:12-13 (NASB) says (from the example of Paul): “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things [endure and prosper in whatever circumstances God allows] through Him who strengthens me.”
May God help us all to learn the secret of being contented in Him, and may Christ Jesus be our strength for life.