The Secret of Contentment
In Part Five of this series we looked at unbelief as the source of discontentment. Discontentment is a sin; it denies the right of God to do with us as He wills and it ignores the promise that God will never allow us to suffer more than we are able. (1 Cor. 10:13). As Christians, we have been freed from the dominion of sin and can now live in light of the good news. In union with Christ, we are able to fight against temptation and sin. This is the secret of contentment: Contentment flows from assurance in God and His promises (Heb. 13:5). Biblical contentment means that we not only rest in assurance of who Jesus is, but in what He has done in the past and has promised he will do in the future. Therefore, we find our contentment in God and the promises of His provision. True contentment is not about self-sufficiency: it is based on God-sufficiency. It’s not about what I have. It’s about Who has me. When we place our trust in Christ, we can be content in any circumstance (Phil 4:10-12).
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness…
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (2 Pe 1:3–6). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect…
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 12:2). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
There is a pattern of discontentment in today’s society, yet everything we will ever need to live obediently in contentment is ours. Resist temptation and its harmful desires (1 Tim. 6:9-11). The first step to true contentment comes when we come to Christ: Christ is sufficient, and His promises are enough. God’s gift of grace makes us a people abounding in hope and confidence because Jesus Christ is more than just our example in righteousness. He is our righteousness. Christ is the source of our strength (Phil. 4:13-14). Our prayer should be that He would work powerfully in us so we might walk out our salvation in obedience.
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.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (2 Co 9:8). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The Word of God overtly and specifically calls us to contentment. In order to learn contentment, you must first know and embrace the Bible’s truths about God. Learning and practicing contentment is critical for a thriving life. God has given us His written Word, everything we need to trust in him and resist temptation. We must be in the Word and among God’s people in order to faithfully live out a pattern of contentment.
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 107:9). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Some people are content within their sin, and that’s not the kind of contentment we’ve been considering. Some people are content with evil. Some people are content with less than God’s best. We’re talking about a true and pure kind of contentment. Contentment is found in pursuing godliness (1 Tim. 6:6-8). Biblical contentment grows out of our relationship with Christ.
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Php 4:8–9). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The call in this series is a call to contentment, to say Christ is enough. To say what I have is enough, where I am is enough, and ultimately Christ is more than enough. With Jesus, we can be fully content. We can be satisfied. Will you accept what God has given and be satisfied today?
As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 17:15). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
At the heart of true contentment is trusting and resting in God’s providence. Begin every day with a focus on Christ. True contentment is when our eyes are on God and the inward work of his Spirit rather than our external circumstances (Matt. 6:32-33). For additional study, read Psalm 23.