Key scripture: Phil 4:11,12
Contentment is an inner sufficiency that keeps us at peace in spite of outward circumstances.
Contentment is understanding that if I am not satisfied with what I have, I will never be satisfied with what I want.
We may not “need” as much as we think. And we’re not entitled to our “wants”.
Contentment requires appreciating what we have.
Contentment is not the same as settling for less. It is being settled despite your circumstance.
Contentment is acknowledgment of blessings.
One of the lessons we are forced to learn in life is to learn to be content. At school we have to learn mathematics whether we like to or not. The same with contentment: the quicker we learn the better! Contentment is not what we think it is, and we cannot fake it either. It has to be a work of grace in our lives. We need to know the promises of God that lead to contentment. We need to know how to co-operate with the Holy Spirit who works contentment into our lives as believers. Otherwise the Christian experience can be one big frustration! AJP
WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF CONTENTMENT
Though it may seem impossible, God’s people are able to have contentment in the most difficult circumstances. Here are some examples in the Bible.
Rejoicing even when expectations are not met (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
Rejoicing when persecuted (Acts 5:41)
Singing hymns to God even when flogged and thrown into jail (Acts 16:23-25)
Joyfully accepting property being confiscated (Hebrews 10:34)
Rejoicing when suffering for Christ (1 Peter 4:12-13)
EXEMPLIFIED IN THESE PEOPLE:
David: Ps 16:6.
Agur: Pr 30:8,9. Contentment is often seen as passivity, apathy, inactiveness, indifference. But this is not contentment for it is based on a allusion, false peace. The root of passivity is laziness, fear of failure. Contentment is a power.
Barzillai: 2 Sa 19:33-37. Barzillai (‘my iron’ material used for furniture and weapons) helped to stem the rebellion of Absalom against David. When David wanted to bless him and take him with him, he declined the kind offer because he felt he was too old and said he would be a burden to David. Then he suggested that David do to Chimham what David planned to do for him. Chimham was one of Barzillai’s followers. Chimham means, ‘their desire’. So David agreed and gave Chimham the Inn at Bethlehem as a possession!
Paul: Php 4:11,12. I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: Paul discovered the secret of life. There is a blessing in the negative.
Shunammite: 2 Ki 4:13. Shunem was the city given to Issachar about 5 miles north of Mount Tabor. Shunem means ‘double resting place’. The Shunamite woman did so much for the prophet Elisha and for his servant Gehazi that Elisha sent his servant to enquire what could be done for her in return. She simply said, ‘I am happy to live where I am among my own people.’ She was content.
BE CONTENT WITH:
With godliness is great gain: Ps 37:16; 1Ti 6:6.
In their respective callings: 1 Co 7:20.
With appointed wages: Lu 3:14.
With what things they have: Heb 13:5.
With food and raiment: 1Ti 6:8.
A discontented man is never rich, and a contented man is always rich. Ecclesiastes 5:10
WHAT CONTENTMENT IS NOT:
It is not apathy, passivity and laziness. That contentment is based on a false peace, rooted in fear, disappointment and unbelief.
Contentment is not an emotion or a feeling. I usually feel content after a meal, or achieving something great. This type of contentment is temporary.
ACTIONS AND ATTITUDES THAT KILLS CONTENTMENT:
– Comparison kills contentment. Comparison is the death of joy.
– Vein fantasies of the mind, can create a false reality disconnecting you from what is real.
– Covetousness destroys contentment. Exodus 20:17
– Ongelukkigheid – unhappy, dejected, troubled.
WAYS HOW WE CAN LEARN TO BE CONTENT:
Devoting time to God, family and friends – LOVE Learn to love. Psalm 128:5-6
Appreciating what they have and learn to GIVE
Maintaining an optimistic outlook – FAITH
Feeling a sense of purpose – CALLING
Living in the moment – GRACE
JESUS BECAME DISCONTENT SO THAT WE CAN BE FOREVER CONTENT IN HIM
Jesus often declared that He will give true contentment, fulness. quenching our thirst forever! Never thirst again… John 4:13-16
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. John 7:37 On the cross He became thirsty so that truly we that believe in Him will never thirst again. In the end at the Cross He said: “I thirst” John 19:28-30