The Lord Gives Contentment
"The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied." Proverbs 19:23
In Philippians 4, Paul describes what he calls “the secret” to contentment. Scripture says, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13).
Similarly Hebrews 13:5 says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” Imagine a life of total contentment regardless of your possessions or status. Imagine the peace, joy, and strength you would find in this kind of freedom Paul experienced from the ways of the world. The question before you today is this: what is keeping you from living your life consistently and completely content?
Scripture is clear that true contentment transcends circumstances. True contentment is found apart from abundant provision. God longs to draw you into a lifestyle of situational transcendence. He longs to provide contentment for you on every level, but it will take surrendering your system of values and pursuits to experience the satisfaction of God’s perfect perspective. Contentment comes solely through a lifestyle of surrender.
The truth is, we consistently believe a lie that the world can offer us true contentment. We believe that the next purchase, friend, job, or hobby will satisfy foundational needs that can only find their fulfillment in God. We reach out to the world for help as if the world wasn’t in immense need already.
Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” If your value lies in possessions and status, they will own you rather you owning them. If you search after the opinion of man above God’s, your contentment will come and go with the fleeting whims of those around you. But if you place your treasure with your heavenly Father, your heart will find its home in the loving arms of God.
If you will find the courage to surrender possessions, family, friends, jobs, and status today, you will find wonderful strength and contentment that transcends this world and finds its source in God alone. Spend time in prayer cutting your emotional ties to the world and placing your hope and trust in your heavenly Father alone.
1. Meditate on God’s desire to bring you contentment that transcends your circumstances.
“The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied.” Proverbs 19:23
2. Where have you been finding your contentment? What have you been seeking after to satisfy your emotional needs? Where have you placed your treasure?
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13
3. Repent of any area in which you have been pursuing the ways of the world, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you value what he values. Ask him how he feels about your possessions and to give you the courage to give away or sell anything that is keeping you from reaching contentment. All that God would lead you to do is perfect and absolutely for your best interest.
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
When it comes down to it, what’s more valuable than contentment, peace, joy, fulfillment, and love? What possession, friend, job, or status is of greater value than what God has to offer us? The world seeks contentment from avenues which only ever lead to greater need. God has placed before you the avenue of surrender and promised an unconditional and limitless supply of contentment if you will simply take his hand and trust and follow him. May you gain the perfect perspective of your heavenly Father today and pursue the contentment that comes from him alone.
Extended Reading: Matthew 6
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