Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Ephesians 4:11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.
I Timothy 6:6-8 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
These verses give us a command to be content, a model of contentment (Paul) and an encouraging description of the advantages of being content. We often read these verses, nod in agreement, and wish we were like that. Perhaps we get convicted about not being as content as our minds and hearts tell us we should be. Or perhaps we take a moment, count our blessings, honestly thank God and then go about the rest of our day, but then slip from the happy place of contentment all too quickly.
Yes, we know we should cultivate gratitude, and should express it regularly to the Lord. We admire (or are jealous of) people who are content, and probably have a deep desire to have that contentment. Yet counting our blessings and expressing our thanks hasn’t proven to be enough.
There may be one more thing remaining to be done: Repenting of our discontent. If we are told to be content, and we aren’t, then we need to repent of not being content. In reality, if we are in Christ, we have no real reason to not be content, and it’s also our portion in Christ to have that kind of real peace and joy.
Being content sounds simple, yet it’s comprised of many elements, some seen and some not. We usually try to work our way to contentment by dealing with each of those elements one at a time. That may provide some temporary relief, or allow us some small progress on the issue. The enemy plays with this approach (usually adding the lie that our real joy is connected with something found in the natural world).
But if you are not content, why not try simply asking God to forgive you for not being content? Take on contentment in the name of the Lord, in faith, as a gift from God gratefully received. Then hold onto it like the most stubborn kid playing King of the Hill, except that you can let God be the Defender of it instead of yourself.
Contentment is a matter of the heart, a place we find in the spirit. It’s not a result of possessions, achievement, or waiting for that one more thing to happen. It’s ours now in Christ, and may be just one real repentance away from enjoying.
Prayer: Lord, I recognize that You have called me to contentment. Please forgive me for living in discontent. I take on contentment as a gift from You, and ask that You show me how to stand still and see Your salvation as I hold it against any attack from the enemy. And thank You that those battles are only meant to strengthen my ownership of that place of contentment.