What is the longing in your life? Are you single, desperately waiting for the right man or woman? Are you facing financial pressure or pushing in prayer for your promotion? Maybe you’re in ministry and believing for that breakthrough.
Let me ask you another question… How do you feel while you are waiting? Before you read on, take a moment to think about it. Do you feel frustrated or unfulfilled? Maybe you feel down or empty.
Does something on the inside say, “When I meet the man, all will be well; When I get that promotion, I will be happy; When I get my breakthrough, life will be bliss”?
Paul the Apostle went through extremely tough times. He was beaten to within an inch of his life, he was shipwrecked (in winter), he was thrown out of cities, critics conspired against him and told malicious lies about him. He went without shelter, food and sleep.
And yet in Philippians 4:11, he said, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”
Contentment means to be satisfied with what you are or what you have. It is a state of happiness that is independent of external circumstances.
The fact that the apostle says that he learned how to be content irrespective of life’s ups and downs says that it is a skill. It is something we need to work at and as we do put our hearts and minds to it, it will lead to genuine happiness.
Hebrews 13:5 says “Be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
The word “For” at the start of the second part of that verse tells us how we can be content. Let’s shift our focus from believing that any external factor controls our contentment and instead realise that Jesus really is enough.
The truth is that nothing else will ever be enough to make us feel truly fulfilled. No-one else can complete us. Nothing else can meet our deepest needs.
I don’t believe that true contentment happens when everything around us is right. I believe it occurs when we make a choice.
You can’t separate contentment from gratitude. Allow gratitude to bubble up on the inside for everything you already have, for all God has already done.
It’s horrible living with constant discontent. But like Paul the apostle, we can learn the secret of happiness, we can learn to be content no matter what is going on around us. It creates great joy and is well worth the effort.
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