The first part to this study can be found by clicking here. What follows are additional thoughts I have about contentment. Aside: Special appreciation goes out to Dr. Allen Jackson, my Kappa Sigma big brother at Southern Mississippi from 27 years ago. He first showed me Philippians 4:13.
Driving through the maze of life can threaten our contentment. Hopefully we can learn and apply a few things here to help us navigate that will glorify God.
Read Philippians 4:11-13.
Contentment is acquired… learned. It is not something people naturally have.
Contentment has nothing to do with circumstances or situations. It is a matter of the heart that comes from perspective, gratitude, and thankfulness.
Lack of contentment is just as possible/probable in abundance as in times of need. If contentment was obtained by an abundance of material things and physical safety, virtually everyone in this church should be content!
There is more danger and probability of diminished contentment in times of abundance than in times of need. In times of need we recognize our dependence upon God. When all is well we tend to forget how dependent we really are. Consider what is written in Deuteronomy 28:47-48.
Always keep Philippians 4:13 in the context of this passage of Scripture.
The secret to being content is not in things, it is in a person… Jesus Christ. When HE is the source of our joy, happiness, security, and saftey… THEN we are content at all time. However, we our joy, peace, & contentment is tied to, or dependent upon, anything other than Him… and it is threatened or lost… we lose our contentment. Thus the “secret” to contentment is a passion to know Jesus in all his fullness and desiring whatever it takes to know Him in that manner.
How Are We To Be “Content In Christ?” (This is from my own personal journey)
First, I am convinced of Jesus’ absolute unconditional love for me. Not because of anything I do or have done, I just rest in the fact tha he has proven His love by dying in my place on the cross.
Second, I am convinced of God The Father’s absolute unconditional love for me. Not because of anything I do or have done, I just rest in the fact that He has proven His love by forgiving my sin.
Third, Based on those two things, I believe with all my heart, soul, mind, & spirit that before anything happens to me, or is allowed into my live, it has been approved by God as ultimately for my good.
Fourth, Based on those three things, I believe that just because I don’t see how something can be good doesn’t mean it isn’t good.
Fifth, I know that I can’t always see God’s hand as things happen to me, so I trust that God is in complete control of what IS happening to me.
Sixth, I believe 1 Corinthinas 10:13.
Seventh, I believe 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Eighth, I believe Romans 8:28.
Ninth, I believe Romans 8:31-32.
Tenth, I beleive Romans 8:37-39.
Eleventh, I try to pray often. I’ve found that prayer is more about God changing me than Him changing things, situations, or other people. I’ve found that the more I pray, the more content and happy I am.
Twelveth, I try to stay in The Word devotionally along with preparing messages and studies.
Thirteenth, I try to worship God constantly, daily, and regularly. I sing a lot in my car. I listen to messages by other preachers I admire. I praise God spontaneously (In response to and admiring His creation).
Last, I try to be purposely thankful to God for all He has given me… none of which I deserve. “Count your many blessings name them one by one and it will surprise you all that God has done!”