Today’s culture preaches the need to always reach for the stars. However, as Proverbs 31 reminds us, we may find being content in Christ alone. We can never find the compassion, joy, or serenity in our hearts that the world’s riches promise.
Spiritual contentment provides a profound sense of fulfillment that permeates our entire being. Most of us have struggled to find lasting happiness for quite some time, and in our pursuit of this elusive state, we have frequently pursued deadlocks.
When we place our faith in Christ, we will transform our souls. Faith in God will help us feel more secure, leading to happiness and contentment. Faith in God’s love for us can help us stop looking for validation from other people and start looking for it where it counts: in God. Let’s dive into how we can all be content Christians in this modern world.
We can Learn to be Content
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for 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, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Phil. 4:11–12)
This indicates that achieving a particular life’s ambition, such as getting a promotion at work, getting hitched, having a kid, exploring the world, or any other aspirational activity, does not automatically result in a state of happiness for its recipients. One acquires the ability to be content by actively seeking out and enjoying what God is accomplishing in their life, regardless of the circumstances.
Paul also tells us that satisfaction and holiness go in tandem and that this is a truth that we cannot separate (1 Tim. 6:6). The more we cultivate godliness and happiness, the further we will understand how to find joy in our lives regardless of the circumstances.
Paul writes in Philippians 4:9: “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Maintaining contentment is like keeping your muscles in good shape; it requires frequent workouts. In everyday terms, this entails cultivating an attitude of gratitude for God’s gifts and putting one’s faith in the reality that the Lord is active and at work in all aspects of one’s life, regardless of the challenges or obstacles that one may encounter.
When we envy the wealth or accomplishments of another individual, we ignore the benefits God already has bestowed upon us. Paul brings to our attention that we did not bring anything into the world and can neither take anything outside the world.
The root cause of discontentment is eventually an ignorance of God’s finest gift, which is Jesus Christ and the redemption that was won for us by his sacrifice on the cross.
The further we educate ourselves to live in thankfulness for Jesus and the sacrifice he has made, and the greater we strive to honor Christ in a variety of contexts, the more we shall be inspired to exclaim along with Paul: “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.” (Philippians 4:12)
Honor God’s Acclaim More than Human Adulation
“I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” (John 5:41-44)
When we struggle with a difficult aspect of life, we seek validation from others through their praise and admiration. Instead of turning to God in prayer and Church service, some people may stew in their anger.
When feeling down or insecure, we look to others for affirmation in the form of praise or appreciation. The issue is that it takes a lot of effort, pressure, and worry about maintaining this illusion before others, and consequently, it may be harmful, addictive, and draining to our faith. Some must have also been impacted, as individuals started caring more about how people regarded them than God. They looked to man instead of to God.
As the poet in Psalm 131:1-2 reveals, God can offer us confidence and serenity when we are happy with the acclaim and affection he can provide:
My heart is not proud, Lord,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
But I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.
We Cannot Obtain Contentment Through Material Possessions
It’s common to believe that if we only received a little extra of what we want, we’d finally be satisfied. If you’re like most people, it’s either cash or overall health. Some folks are looking for an extended getaway or a larger home. But happiness does not rely on material possessions; it is a state of mind.
If you aren’t content with an additional $10 in your pocket, you certainly won’t be happy with an unexpected $50. That’s a huge increase over what you had before. However, material possessions are not a prerequisite to happiness.
This doesn’t imply you shouldn’t work hard to elevate your economic situation or obtain finer goods, but beware of the illusion of believing that doing so will bring you happiness. The source of contentment is thanking God for what you possess today and praying for His assistance to accomplish more in the coming years with what He’s provided.
The Anticipation for New Creations Breeds Contentment
One can feel contentment when one is aware that their future is safeguarded. The words “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” are an instruction that Jesus gives to his followers (Matt. 6:20). As we consider the future of eternity, we realize that the heritage Christ supplied for us is so much more valuable compared to anything else we might acquire in this lifetime.
Keeping in mind that the Lord will bring heaven and earth together in the new creation helps put the lives we lead now on the entire planet into clear context. Paul says, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it, we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 3:20).
Jesus strengthens his children to persevere and delight in all things as he is our Savior. He will steadfastly carry them throughout this lifetime into paradise, our real home, that will be linked with humanity in the new birth.
We can Achieve Contentment by Finding Satisfaction in Christ’s Person and Work
Confidence in Jesus Christ, who delivers God’s people from the wrath of sin and mortality, is the bedrock of contentment. The apostle Paul tells us that any success we may achieve in this life is insignificant compared to the incomparable value of having a personal relationship with Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:8).
It is not uncommon for people to be surprised to learn that keeping Christ and his ministry first in one’s life results in greater fulfillment and gratification than any other reason. We may find satisfaction in our demands and gratification for all our aspirations in Christ alone. Christians may be at peace knowing God will provide for their needs since they are God’s children (Matt. 7:7–11).
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