Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"The Secret of Contentment"

Contentment has always been a word that I have struggled with. When I was a little girl I wanted to be older, to have more responsibilities, to have more privileges. When I was in high school I wanted to be in college. In college I wanted to be married. After we were married I wanted to have a baby. There has always been something else. Some next thing that I long for. I have wanted a bigger house, a better car, a newer computer. Want, want, want!!! In recent years I have thought that my heart was more content than it ever had been before. I am so blessed and so happy and so filled to overflowing with joy. I really began to think that I had this contentment thing down pat. God has used some recent events in my life to show me that I have not yet conquered the obedience of contentment. My contentment has been very dependent on circumstances. Our circumstances have just been very good and calm for a while. Don't get me wrong, I don't want a bigger house or anything material, but I have been allowing my joy and excitement to come from the "good" circumstances in my life. So when the unexpected disappointments come along then what? Crying, sulking, bad attitudes, the desire to give up, are all things I have struggled with this week. That is not the fruit of a heart that has learned to be content in any and every circumstance. This is a heart whose contentment is controlled by circumstances. Philippians 4:12 NIV "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." Paul said that he had learned the "secret" of being content in every circumstance. Why was it a secret? Because people can tell you how to be content, you can read books on contentment and still struggle with being content. The secret is learned as you seek God's word and listen to His voice. As we listen to that quiet whisper that screams so loudly in our souls we learn the secret of contentment. You see learning to be content is something that is spiritually discerned. If you look at Paul's life you see the journey to contentment. You see the growth and you see God's hand at work in his life. He says that he has learned to be content and he boldly proclaims "I can do EVERYTHING through Him who gives me strength." It is the strength of God that comes and walks us through those difficult times. Through His strength we can be content. We must be walking with Him moment by moment. Earlier in Philippians 4 Paul was explaining how we can have the peace of God in our lives, how we can not be anxious and how we should think to accomplish all these things. "Finally brothers whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." Contentment begins with a right relationship with Jesus, relying on His strength and with a disciplined life of living according to His Word. I am still "learning" the secret of being content in any and every situation. I look forward to one day saying with Paul "I have LEARNED the secret of being content." How about you?


  1. I have had several bible verses about contentment taped to my bathroom mirror for YEARS ! I am still learning too !!

  2. God is disciplining me daily on this topic and so led me to your page. Thank you Lord for these words and this dear woman's heart for you! Love you! Lisa