If I just had a lot of money, or if we had a bigger house, if I were healed of this dreaded illness, if I could find any type of job to put food on the table…I could have contentment. The list is endless, and most times there are multiple real or perceived needs, even daily. “Bottom line is, if I could just change the situation that I’m in, I would be content.”
First, what is contentment? It’s a state of satisfaction or peaceful happiness. Sounds like a worthy goal in all our lives. As I look back on my lifetime, I’ve had lots of stuff, assets, good income and no income, illnesses, wonderful marriage, children, grandchildren and now a great-granddaughter. And over the years I have known many people with not much of the world’s possessions who were much more content than I, and I’ve known a lot of wealthy people who have had a lifetime of discontentment. Paul addresses this at the end of his letter to the Philippians.
“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him (Christ) who strengthens me” (v.12,13). He has learned the secret. And I can guarantee you that it was not the stuff or the lack of stuff that brought him to be content. The only way to be content is by being “in Christ” who gives you the strength to face anything that comes your way, no matter what. Are you content?