Where is Contentment Rooted?
In Part One, we saw contentment as hard doctrine intersecting with real life: True contentment is not dependent on circumstances. Contentment does not envy people, places, or things. Difficult times and hard circumstances come for every believer but God promises that He will be with us, strengthening us. For the Christian, a proper understanding of contentment is important because our hope matters to the watching world. But we must ask ourselves, what is the significance of where our contentment is rooted?
It is God’s character that informs our contentment as we place our trust and hope in a God who is both good and sovereign. Those things we believe about God’s character is what shapes our theology. We live our theology from the moment our feet hit the floor each morning and a contented heart recognizes our desperate condition while seeking to live in light of God’s grace. Wise Christians become aware of our wrongful tendency to view our circumstances as things we can control, but looking to Christ (who controls our circumstances no matter how they turn out) means we pray and trust. Contentment in faith community serves as encouragement for the church as we display inward assurance of God’s sovereignty.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 92:1–4). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
True, lasting contentment is rooted in the good news of Christ. Trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ and delighting in His Word relate to each other. When we trust in Him, we are going to want to know him more intimately. We will be drawn to meditate on the Scriptures and be contented in the Word regularly. Praying the Word demonstrates our dependence on the Lord and acknowledges that He is working circumstances for our good, while keeping the truth of God forefront in our minds. God reveals himself to us as he comforts us through the Word and contentment is found as we trust in the Lord to mend our messy, difficult lives for His purposes.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 55:10–11). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
How does your theology influence how you read, pray, and meditate on the Bible? With the truth of God’s grace in mind, why do you think we still struggle with doubting God’s goodness? Trust today, that the Word’s working by way of God’s Holy Spirit would be sufficient power to change and sustain all things.