Do you ever struggle with being discontented? Do you find yourself wishing for more of something, whether it is money, possessions or relationships?
I suppose we all do on some level. As an American, I know that I sometimes struggle with not “having” the things I “want.” We are indeed spoiled and have a generally skewed idea of what our needs are versus our wants.
I also struggle with being alone sometimes. Most people my age have a husband, children, in-laws. So far, I don’t. And maybe I won’t. Only God knows what the future holds.
As I grow older I am learning to understand what Paul meant in his letter to the Philippians when he said, “I have learned to be satisfied with whatever I have. I know what it is to be poor or to have plenty, and I have lived under all kinds of conditions. I know what it means to be full or to be hungry, to have too much or too little. Christ gives me the strength to face anything.” (4:11-13 CEV)
Webster says that satisfaction is: fulfillment of ones wishes, expectations or needs, and the pleasure derived from this.
Contented means: manifesting satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation.
Of course I don’t actually know what it is like to have nothing and to go hungry. I have been blessed in my life to never know that pain. I do my best to reach out to those in greater physical need.
But, I think Paul is talking about all kinds of needs when he says “poor” or “plenty.” He was in prison when he wrote this, so he must have been feeling poor in all areas of his life. Even if we have enough to have food, shelter and clothing, we all understand loneliness.
We can all apply Paul’s principle of contentment to our lives. It is necessary for peace and happiness to be satisfied with whatever season of life we are living in. If we constantly focus on what “could be” or what we think “should be” then we will miss the valuable lessons we are to learn right where we are. Choosing contentment builds character.
There will be difficult days. There will be lonely days, even if you are not alone. There will be financial trials and hard times in our relationships. There will also be days when everything goes well – we feel good, our bills are paid, and the sun is shining.
We must be satisfied and content in our relationship with God so that these swings up and down will not affect our solidarity and our happiness. We must choose to always be grateful for what we have.
Choose to thank God for His provision that never fails us.
Believe that Christ is sufficient for us, and that through Him we have the strength to face anything.
No matter what your circumstance is this day, give thanks in contentment to God who supplies all your needs. He provided for you yesterday, and He will provide for you tomorrow.
He promised to be EVERYTHING you need – financially, emotionally, spiritually.
When you think about that promise, it is much easier to choose contentment.