Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you do not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you hoped for- Epicurus
For those reading this who are 2springers, you are pretty familiar with the Words of the Apostle Paul. They are fresh baked, hot out of the oven as we have preached though the vast majority of the Pauline Epistles this year. Such profound truth, Doctrinal bedrock. Such discernment as he battled the heresy of the day with gracious and strong letters of rebuke and then correction. Such a testimony as he recounts the redeeming grace of God is his own life. Wow, God is good!
Out of all the Epistles of Paul, there is one letter, scratch that, there is one verse that grabs my soul consistently and pulls almost every emotion out of me. It’s frustrated me, it’s simplified my thinking. It’s convicted me and encouraged me. True, they all are beneficial and they’ve all blessed my socks off but he said this one thing that really gets me….
“I’ve learned to be content in every circumstance I am”- Phil 4:11
Paul, one that has been imprisoned and free, hungry and full, on cloud 9 and strolling the valley floor said in essence, “I’ve found contentment….no matter what”
Now, that’s easy to profess…had to practice.
Contentment is a quality of abundant life that few truly ever experience but it’s really essential for the believer if he/she is to become a fruit producing soldier of the cross. It is hard to come by for a variety of reasons and I won’t list them here. Instead, I want to take a minute to share with you a few principles for real contentment in life.
1. You and God – are you content with your relationship with God? Now, I don’t mean “Have you arrived and have no need to grow in that relationship with the Heavenly Father”? I’m asking are you content in the fact that you know Him as Savior? Are you content in the fact that He is Lord of your life? Our relationship to the Father as Savior and as Lord is a prerequisite to true contentment. There is simply no possibility of contentment apart from His Salvation and Lordship. Often, those who aren’t content in life aren’t so because they lack a saving relationship with Christ and many who have known the joy of salvation lack contentment because though they have trusted Christ as Savior they’ve not submitted to Him as Lord (Master, ruler, boss of every aspect of our lives).
2. You and The Home– Outside of the Salvation and Lordship that Jesus has provided for my life, the greatest blessing I’ve received is the wife and children He has graciously provided for me. They are joy for me. I deeply, deeply cherish them. The very fact that they are in my live brings satisfaction and peace to me.
Many people in todays world lack true contentment because when it comes to the home, they are looking for the “next best thing”. Greener pastures, if you will. God has wondrously provided a family, a home….yet they are discontent with it. They wonder (sometimes vocally, most times silently)..”If only….we had a nicer place to live…we could be more like the Joneses…things could be different“. Husbands, at an alarming rate, prove their discontentment by turning to XXX websites and lustful thoughts. Many wives reminisce of the old days…a high school or college boyfriend and asked themselves what it would have been like had that worked out, wishing they could turn back time (even looking them up on Facebook and possibly rekindling that relationship….hey, it doesn’t have to be physical to be sinful). We could go on and on but my point here is that when it comes to the home, many are not content.
The home should be a place where contentment is king. The very sight of our spouses/children should produce a miles deep well of gratitude to God for His provision. Be content with you family.
3. You and Money– I know, I know…here goes the Preacher talking about money again. Look, Jesus talked about it often so I don’t hesitate to follow His example. Why such emphasis on money in the Scriptures? Simple, Jesus knew the greatest competitor for our hearts was money. At the end of the day, contentment in our resources comes down to where our treasure is. If we treasure stuff, we’ll never be content for there is never enough stuff to satisfy our flesh. If our Treasure is the Savior, He is always enough. Always.
Truth is- Contentment is key to truly experiencing freedom and being what Gods called us to be. Lets strive towards it together.
Soli Deo Gloria! – Pastor Kyle