“Stan,” I said one morning, “you seem to be pretty content. Is that something you just come by naturally or did you have to develop it?”
“Oh,” Stan replied, “I don’t think there’s any question that I had to learn to be content.”
“And how did you do that?”
“Mainly by learning what it meant to be discontent.”
“Be content why knowing what it means to be discontent?” I repeated. “How’s that going to happen?”
“First,” Stan said, “I’ll answer with a question. What do you see as the source of discontentment?”
“Oh,” I replied, “I suppose it would be the world, the flesh, and the devil.”
“Good supposition!” Stan said with a smile. “For way too long I was caught up with the idea that what the world, the flesh, and the devil had to sell me would provide contentment. It was only when I realized that such contentment was very temporary at best, it was only then that I learned I couldn’t buy contentment. It’s free!”
“Free? How so?”
“It’s just like everything God has for me. Life eternally with Him when my time here is done is His free and gracious gift through the finished work of Christ Jesus on the cross. The eternal life of knowing God the Father and Jesus the Son is also free. I just need to be open to receive and embrace it.”
“So,” I replied, “the world and everything apart from God tries to sell us something that looks like contentment, but God gives true contentment that can’t be bought, only received as a free gift. Is that it?”
“That’s it, my friend,” Stan replied. “The apostle Paul wrote about learning to be content so we can learn the same thing. Learn to be content, but make sure that contentment is what God has for us!”
I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. Philippians 4:11.
And God is able to make all grace abound in you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed. 2 Corinthians 9:8.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your free and gracious gift of life eternally with you when it’s time. Thank you for your provision of all I need to be truly content, knowing I have the assurance of salvation through faith, and knowing that I can pursue the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus ever-more deeply on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I am enticed by the contentment offered by the world, the flesh, and the devil. Please help me in seeing that all such supposed “contentment” is a lie. Help me to seek, receive, and embrace only the contentment you provide for every aspect of my life. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in he name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: What is the source of your contentment in this life? Do you have the assurance of salvation so that you will be content in the eternal presence of God when it’s time? If no, why? Do you know how to have that contentment by accepting it as a free and and gracious gift? If you sense you may be looking for contentment in places other than what God has for you, what are you going to do about that? What would God like you to do about it?