The Secret of Contentment
The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble. (Proverbs 19:23)
Nowadays, so few people seem content. Perhaps one reason for that is that we live in a society where we are constantly bombarded with messages telling us that we need something bigger, better, newer, nicer than what we have already; where we are told that our dresses are too long, our ties are too wide, our colours are too bright …. until next year of course, when we are told that our dresses are too short, our ties are too narrow, our colours are too dull … Sounds familiar? Of course it does! The trouble is, we believe it! Little wonder we do not learn how to be content.
A missionary friend of Mike’s was working in war-torn Burundi when she came across an old man in ragged clothing, his only possession in the world (other than the clothes he was wearing) being a tin cup held in his hand. She hardly knew what to say to him; but the old man looked up and said with a kindly smile, ‘Madam Missionary, I never knew that Jesus was all I needed until Jesus was all I had.’ To such faith and deep contentment in Jesus, Madam Missionary could give no answer.
What about you? Does your response to God’s provision for you reflect genuine godly contentment? Or have you got caught up in the ‘rat race’, always looking for ‘more’ and forgetting Solomon’s wisdom when he said, ‘Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind’ (Ecclesiastes 4:6). Always wanting ‘more’ quickly takes us down the path of covetousness, greed, materialism, avarice and ambition, which so quickly lead to loss of contentment, and so to loss of gratitude, and so to loss of a sense of the closeness of God’s presence.
The secret of contentment is not more ‘things’ or ‘money’ or ‘holidays’; it’s more of God. In the light of that, how content are you today?
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont