Phil Fischer with Jesus Lives – a devotion on “Godliness with Contentment”
Contentment is a state of being where there is peace, an ease of mind, and a real sense of satisfaction. One’s desires are confined to his lot whatever it may be.
For some time now, 1 Timothy 6:6 has been floating around in my head. Contentment can be hard to find in times of normalcy. But now that the world seems rattled and upside-down, contentment is all the harder to achieve.
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6 (NKJV)
I believe that contentment is a gift from God and grows out of having His perspective on life. The Hebrew meaning defines it as simply being pleased, where one demonstrates a habit of contentment. The Greek meaning speaks of a particular object or occurrence. The Greek definition for contentment is jumping up a lot lately due to the incredibly challenging and taxing times we are currently living through. However, contentment is possible if we maintain the mind of Christ.
Paul spoke about the secret of contentment in the book of Philippians. We know Paul enjoyed the ease of wealth, power, respect, food, and the comforts of life. We also know that he endured much suffering and lack. Yet, he was able to walk through many fires of tribulation with contentment. This is because he relied on Jesus to be the source of his comfort and strength.
“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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV).
Laying down personal desires and keeping a heavenly perspective will help us in our pursuit of contentment. Contending with the world is a trap. By gaining one thing we then long for the next big thing. The world has an attitude that more is better. This is partially true. More of Christ is better but not the things of this world. Earth is not our home. We are to lay up eternal treasures in heaven, not worldly wealth that slips away.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. “
Matthew 6:19-20 (NIV)
Paul knew another secret to gaining contentment. He understood that his life was not his own to live. He lived for Christ and Christ alone. When we submit to the path God has designed for us, and the works He created us to perform, we will walk with contentment knowing we are fulfilling our purpose. Not only has God designed specific works for us to but He has equipped us to carry them out.
So, how can we be content when violence is increasing, financial markets are dipping, job employment is low, and a pandemic threatens our lives every day? Trust. We must trust our loving Savior and the truth written in the Book of Life. By standing on the promises of God we can face each day of uncertainty with the certainty that God is in control. He has a plan and is not surprised by anything reported on the news.
You can live a life of contentment. Having a thankful heart helps. Focus on the positives and not the negatives in life. We have all been blessed by a generous Creator. When our attention is placed on eternity, the unpleasant things of this world become less cumbersome. When we draw from God’s strength, we have the power to live in this generation with true contentment.
“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You, who walk in the light of Your presence, Lord. They rejoice in Your name all day long; they celebrate Your righteousness. For You are their glory and strength, and by Your favor You exalt our horn.” Psalm 89:15-17 (NIV)
“God has promised to supply all our needs. What we don’t have now, we don’t need now.” –Elizabeth Elliot
“It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich!” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer