The Foundation of Contentment
A. W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Most times, people lack knowledge of God’s identity, God’s nature, and God’s character. Our God is incomprehensible but we do know a few things about him with study of the Word. We know that God is sovereign, all-knowing and a God of strength. He created everything just by speaking it into existence. He made you and knew you before you were even conceived. When his son, Jesus, died on the cross, he thought of you and every breath you would breathe, every victory on your behalf as well as every sin you would commit. The attributes and characteristics of God allow us to rest and trust in Him completely. God is worthy of our hope and trust because of who He is. Because true contentment is rooted in Him, knowing, believing, and understanding the attributes of God is the very foundation of Christian contentment. In this post, we will take a brief look at a few of God’s attributes. Our God is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, self-sufficient, good, and just. These characteristics directly make our lasting contentment possible.
Because we are sinners, we have a tendency to question God’s wisdom for our lives. A right understanding of our own identity recognizes that we are creatures and God is Creator. We can trust God because He is our Creator who holds all authority (Matt. 6:25). Our all-knowing, ever-present Creator knows us well – God’s relation to us as our Creator means he knows us far greater than we know ourselves. Because God is our Creator, we are not to act as if we can dictate how God acts based on our terms. Instead, we can know that Jesus promises his followers will have troubles in this world, but we are encouraged to take heart, for He will be with us (John 16:33). God’s position as Creator gives him authority over our lives, not the other way around. Because God is omniscient, we can know for certain that God does not make mistakes in how He governs our lives. He can see from beginning to the end and cares for us intimately, so our lives should always be oriented toward Him in faith.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 139:1–4). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
We must know that God is good to be able to trust His character, and we must know that God is also sovereign to trust that He is able to carry out His good and perfect purposes. Otherwise, God may be good, but His promises are outside of His control. If He is sovereign but not good, then God could be rightly viewed as a cruel and oppressive ruler. But God is both good and sovereign, so we can know that God is working all things together for good. A powerful, good, and just God gives Christians the good news that we can depend on His strength. God’s power strengthens believers in their weakness. He is more powerful than we are weak. Scripture teaches us that because we are creatures, we are dependent upon our Creator for everything, including strength. It is the one who recognizes his weakness and turns to God in humility that will receive the strength that God supplies. He is able to make us content, because His power is greater than our weakness.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (2 Co 12:9–10). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
God is all-powerful and rules over all things. His goodness and sovereignty meet and work perfectly together as the bedrock of His promises. The mystery of God’s sovereignty is that God reigns over all events and yet man is fully responsible for his actions. This matters for us, because it reminds us that only God is able to comprehend and reconcile these two seemingly irreconcilable truths. It helps us to not view God’s actions through the present but to trust that He will work all things together for an ultimate and eternal good. We can thank God for working all things together for the good of His people. A life lived in thanksgiving allows Christians to experience life in ways that are impossible to experience otherwise. We would be wise to confess ways in which we disregard God’s goodness. The promises of God rest on His goodness, sovereignty, and power.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 16:11). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Col 1:12–14). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
We can trust God because He loves us (Matt. 6:26-30). The cross was a display of God’s love and justice. God does not excuse our sin, so He is just. In forgiving those who trust in Christ and His atoning work, He is also able to be our justifier. This is why the justice of God is a great source of our contentment, for in Christ we truly are forgiven. We can trust God because He has already provided our greatest need: a Savior (Phil. 4:19). No matter what happens to us each day, we have the knowledge that even death is not the worst fate. We get to live forever in eternity with Christ. We should then live each and every day in accordance with that knowledge.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 8:37–39). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
We can trust God because He alone gives meaning and lasting peace (Matt. 6:31-32). May you find freedom from discontentment as you learn to depend upon the character of God. For further study, read Psalm 139.