“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have” (Phil. 4:11).
Contentment is deep and abiding satisfaction in God himself. Contentment focuses on God’s presence, joy, and love as opposed to our wants, needs, and wishes. Nothing the world offers compares with this deep sense of fulfillment gifted us in the love of Christ. Contentment is found when are our emotional needs are met in God’s love and our inadequacies are overwhelmed in God’s sufficiency. We experience true joy because Jesus has met our deepest need–peace with God. We are fulfilled in Christ. Therefore, we are content with the necessities of life that the Lord has provided.
Contentment is developed over time: it is not an instant virtue. Contentment is obtained through trusting Christ and a willingness to live without the world’s passing fashions (Phil 4:11; 1 Tim. 6:6; Heb. 13:5). Contentment is found by trusting God’s will, submitting to his appointments (even if they may be disappointments), and drawing strength from Christ (Phil. 4:13). We want contentment because we want him and contentment give us more of him and less of us.
“There is no such thing as the right place, the right job, the right calling or ministry. I can be happy or unhappy in all situations. I am sure of it, because I have been. I have felt distraught and joyful in situations of abundance as well as poverty, in situations of popularity and anonymity, in situations of success and failure.
The difference was never based on the situation itself, but always on my state of mind and heart. When I knew I was walking with God, I always felt happy and at peace. When I was entangled in my own complaints and emotional needs, I always felt restless and divided.”
~~ Henri Nouwen, Seeking Peace
ht: daily dig