Psalm 143:8

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Psalm 143:8

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How to be content

Content...what does it really mean to be content?  The dictionary says:

content

adjective
1.satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.
verb (used with object)
4.to make content: These things content me.
noun
5.the state or feeling of being contented; contentment: His content was threatened.


Satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.  As I look around this world I see an awful lot of discontent...we always want more: the new, the latest/greatest, more volume, more, more, more.  We want this, we want that...we NEED this, we NEED that.  When does it stop?  When will we be content with the way things are?  Is it even possible?

Paul found a way.  Paul, who was in prison more than once.  Paul, who could easily have wanted more out of life than he got some days.  Paul knew the secret to contentment.  He tells us in Philippians 4:12-13: 

     "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Paul realizes that he is not ultimately dependent on stuff, or people.  He is grateful to the Philippians for their support and their gifts, but he knows the secret of being content with what he has.  The secret is knowing Jesus.  Jesus, who can give us the strength to endure hardship and want.

Paul tells us just a few verses earlier in the chapter "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  When we give all those things we think we WANT and NEED to God, when we let Him take care of us, we will find peace and contentment.  Pray, be grateful for what you have.  God will give you what you truly need and make the rest unnecessary. 

Oh, how I want to be able to say like Paul that I am content in every situation.  And how I want to let go of all the things that cause me anxiety and just let God be in control.  It is a daily decision for me because I am a natural-born worrier!!  But I do find that when I am able to fully release the things that cause me anxiety, there is peace and contentment in my heart and mind.  And I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.  Leaning on Him and trusting Him, I am stronger when I feel weakest; my needs are met; my emptiness is filled.  And I can be content.

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