I’m glad the Apostle Paul let me in on a secret. In Philippians 4:12 Paul said he had “learned the secret of contentment” (NIV) and I’m convinced we can learn that secret too. In fact the first part of contentment that we need to understand, is that contentment must be learned because it goes against the natural response of people in difficult circumstances. If we follow our natural desires, we will never be content but will always be desiring more and more and constantly unhappy with our situation.
So what’s the secret to contentment? Well it begins with seeing life from God’s perspective. God’s perspective is found in 2 Corinthians 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” If we aren’t careful, we will look at everything from an earthly and carnal perspective which is a “temporary” view. God’s view is different. He looks at everything from an “eternal” perspective. For us the physical life is temporary, but for God life is eternal in the spiritual realm. “When Christ, who is your LIFE, appears then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:4 NIV). When we view life this way, we will concentrate more on eternal values and less on earthly values and we will fill our emptiness with God rather than with man or man made things (stuff). As you focus on what you are suppose to do, rather than on what you have it is easier to align your priorities with God’s.
A few simple thoughts to help you live in contentment:
- Everything belongs to God. What we have are gifts from Him and we are but stewards.
- Be thankful for what you have, not what you don’t have. That keeps you from coveting what others have.
- Ask for wisdom to use wisely what God has given to you.
- Pray for grace to let go of the desire for what you don’t have.
- Trust God to meet your needs.
- 1 Timothy 6:6-10
Contentment is not some “fatalistic” view that we can’t change our lot in life and have to accept everything the enemy tries to put on us, but it is putting our confidence in God and accepting His view of life.
In what areas of your life are you “discontented?” Whatever it is, turn it over to God and begin to view it as God views it. When you do that, it will make all the difference in the world and bring you godly contentment!
Contented in Christ,