Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. ~Philippians 4:11
On November 4, 2010, Eunice Sandborn became the world’s oldest living person. She celebrated her 114th birthday on July 20, 2010, at her church, First Baptist Church, in Jacksonville, Texas. Eunice says that she not only loves everything about her life, but she also has “no complaints” (Source: Houston Chronicle, November 5, 2010). At the age of 114, this dear woman was living the virtue of contentment.
We see the state.
Contentment is being happy and at peace with everything in life. It is attaining that status of knowing you have enough. It is a life that is unaffected by poverty, riches, success, and disappointment. Contented people have found victory over covetousness and the quest for more. Contented people are able to fully enjoy their relationships, their accomplishments, and their accumulations. They have no insecurities when other people succeed or are more successful than them. Contented people are excited about each day and go to bed each night with peace in their soul. They are filled with a spirit of gratitude and thankfulness. Contentment is ours when we die to self and the world.
We see the standard.
“I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Contentment is the biblical standard of living for the child of God. Paul said, “Everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry.” Spurgeon said, “True contentment is absolutely essential to happiness.” Instead of our circumstances affecting our happiness, we must be like Paul in letting our happiness overcome our circumstances. When contentment is our standard of living, we are always living above the temptation of comparison, greediness, and sadness. Be at peace to say, “It’s enough,” and enjoy what you have with those whom God has placed into your life.
We see the striving.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” We must work diligently at being contented. Let us remember that happiness alone is not the goal in contentment. “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” We are more than conquerors when our aim in contentment is a godly life. God must be the goal, and not gold and goods. Conformity to Christ is the ultimate goal, and not just being comfortable. Paul said, “I know both how to be abased….” When Paul faced needy moments in his life, he was thankful because it led to greater faith and dependence upon God. He appreciated more fully the many ways God took care of him. He rejoiced in the state that he was in and that it was not worse. We must strive to be contented with godliness and not just contentment alone.
We see the strength.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” There will come a time when our adversities and suffering can limit us, set us back, and constrain us to look for a plan B for our situation. It is during these trying moments that we must live in the power of Philippians 4:13. Let the strength of our Lord lift you, mobilize you, and enable you. We can be contented in all things through the strength of our Lord Jesus.
Live in the spirit and attitude of contentment. Be satisfied with where God has placed you.
Have a contented God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ezra 8-10