When a person is content, they no longer have task masters cracking the whip over their life. In fact, they settle into a living condition of peace. They have a quiet heart, despite surrounding threats, difficulties, or obstacles. It would be rare to see such a person get “riled up.” This person is quick to be flexible, open to the unforeseen, and satisfied in their heart. The thing they consistently do to remain content is to draw close into God’s great heart in the details of their day. They literally picture themselves in that safe place. It is in this place they can freely ask for wisdom, for creative ideas, for critical insight, and for direction. And – they hear God in their heart – of all things! These folks have learned about contentment.
Contentment and a Broken World
A believer choosing to be content in Jesus has discovered the missing element that is otherwise absent in this broken world. That element is the exercise of their God-given free will to intentionally take a submissive position under Jesus. They become a living sacrifice – by choice. That one decision changes everything in their discipleship journey. Instead of losing themselves, they find themselves. They become great. At least from God’s perspective.
After making this kind of radical commitment, to be a living sacrifice, your problems don’t simply disappear. But you know you are in a good place in God’s over care. He holds all things together, including your entire life. Plus, He gives an extra special kind of empowerment. Scripture says, “The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” (2 Chron. 16:9a) God is literally scanning the earth to identify and support individuals fully committed to Him.
Jesus knows how hard it is to live in a fallen creation. Since He is the Great Creator, He certainly remembers what His original design was before humanity fell into sin. Jesus lived on this earth as the God-man, shoulder to shoulder with everyone in His community. He knows. And He cares – deeply!
Contentment in a fallen world is a hard concept to aim for. It requires extreme faith. This radical belief enjoys the greatest power ever known and finest love ever experienced in the history of creation. God’s power. God’s love. Both of these cover your life when you yield to God’s Spirit.
To know that God is absolutely aware of every detail that touches your life. That He is intervening before you even know what’s coming your way as you remain in faith in Him. That He loves you with everlasting love and will never leave you or forsake you. These deep realizations are the very elements that bring contentment to the human heart. Yes, you are loved. You belong. You are on God’s radar!
Jesus wants you to trust Him pin-pointedly enough to, “Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest . . . ” (Mt. 11:28) And He wants you to do this – in the middle of your living.
Phil. 4:12-13 says this – “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”
Contentment is Learned
Apparently, contentment is something that is learned – even by the “greats.” Surrounding circumstances have nothing to do with contentment. What is the secret? It is having Christ central in your life.
Your best life response is to be content in the Lord. Contentment affects absolutely everything.
When you radically choose Jesus, to be your first, most, and best you get all His best, even when you suffer. This is an eternal “mystery” that will only be fully realized in Heaven one day. But those who latch onto Christ now by faith and rest in Him – not only do they get all He promised of Heavenly treasures. They also get contentment, here and now. They live in peace. Plus, they have fabulous personal character! Further, they enjoy wisdom and discernment. God said, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (Is. 30:21)
Helpful Contentment Practices
Here are some things that will help you practice contentment:
- Choose to be content in the Lord in your current circumstances.
- Let everything else become second to Jesus.
- Trust Him for all details in life.
- Search the Scriptures for promises and commands for guidance strategies.
- Approach every issue by faith in Jesus. Not your own thinking grid or agenda. Not someone else’s. Trust Jesus’ thinking and agenda.
- Ask God to supply your needs – and praise Him before His answer comes.
- Tell God your dreams – and be content as you wait on His leading and timing. He knows your dreams and cares about them. In fact, if they are godly, He planted them inside you.
- Practice cheer!
Remember that “godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Tim. 6:6)