Peace and contentment have always been a bit elusive but our world has a way of promoting dissatisfaction with our lives. Doesn’t it? Advertising, materialism, technology, social media, relationships, etc. all can contribute to feelings of unhappiness. Henry Blackaby says “If we listen to the world, we will always be comparing the lifestyles and possessions of others with our own, and we will always be dissatisfied.”
Recently, I was comparing my car to the other vehicles in the drop-off line at my daughter’s school, and there was a little sense of dissatisfaction. Now to be honest I’m not really all that concerned about what I drive (maybe you can tell), but if you multiply that feeling with where you live, what you wear, the condition of your home, your lifestyle, how you compare to others, etc., you can see how feelings of discontent can overtake you quickly.
The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:11, “I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” Paul had enjoyed power and status among the people. He had also been thrown into jail. He knew what it was like to stand before a king and also to be stoned by an angry mob. Paul had enjoyed the pleasures and benefits of this life, yet he could give them all away and still be filled with the joy of the Lord. His contentment did not depend on his environment but on his relationship with Christ.
Blackaby goes on to say “Contentment frees you to enjoy every good thing God has given you. Contentment demonstrates your belief that God loves you and has your best interest in mind. Discontent stems from the sin of ingratitude and a lack of faith that God loves you enough to provide for all that you need.”
Beloved, if our contentment comes from possessions, activities, or other people, these can be altered or removed. They are fleeting and will change. If our contentment, however, comes from our relationship with Christ, there is absolutely nothing that can take that away.