4 ways to have contentment

October 23, 2012

4 ways to have contentment

In case you haven’t noticed, people are just not content these days. No matter how much money and possessions people have they still want more

Contentment as defined by Easton’s Bible dictionary is,

“a state of mind in which one’s desires are confined to their lot whatever it may be.”

In other words, contentment is being satisfied in all circumstances.  To be content is to believe that what we have is sufficient and not to grumble and complain that we should have more.

4 ways to have contentment

1. We can have contentment by trusting that God will provide whatever is necessary.

Did you know that there are over 6000 promises in the Bible which you can claim? Let me just give you one example.

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:31-33

In this passage God gives a promise. He promises that if we put His kingdom first He will take care of our daily needs. He promises that if we put Him at the center that everything else will be taken care of.

My problem is – sometimes I don’t trust Him as I should. Sometimes I try to take control and try to be successful on my own effort. Sometimes I push God out of the way and try to do things my way.

Usually when that happens – I fail but the Bible says in Philippians 4:19,

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

2. We can have contentment by shifting our emphasis to what God has given us rather than what we lack.

I came across this great little poem that says:

discontment poem

Isn’t that so true of us?

Let’s look at the account of the Fall. Genesis 2:16-17 says that God commanded Adam,

“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

Satan being the father of lies and deception ignores what God had already given to Adam and Eve, all the other trees in the garden, and he focuses in on the one thing that God said they couldn’t have – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve was discontented over the one fruit she could not eat and forgot about all the rest that she could eat.

3. We can have contentment by acknowledging the fact that we deserve much less than what God has already given us.

As sinners, we actually deserve death from God but because of His mercy, He has given us eternal life and a whole lot of other things. Isn’t this already having more than we deserve?

Listen to what the Apostle Paul has to say to young Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:6-8,

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”

I cannot count how many times I have not received the consequences that I have deserved. This makes me feel incredibly grateful.

I am also reminded of all the good things that I have been blessed with that I don’t deserve: my family, helpful parents, encouraging friends, a supportive church family, my daily needs being met above and beyond, clean water and so many other things!

4. We can have contentment by believing that what God has withheld is actually no good for us.

Listen to Jesus in Matthew 7:9-11 as He reiterates this point when He says,

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

I have many prayers that I have prayed that I am thankful that God never answered in the affirmative! I wasn’t happy at the time but over time I have learned that God had a much better plan for me.

Where are you on the contentment scale (1 being discontent and 10 being totally content)?

Kevin Martineau

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I am the Pastor at Port Hardy Baptist Church on Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I am married to my best friend and I have three beautiful daughters.

4 responses to 4 ways to have contentment

  1. Hi Kevin. Love this post. Contentment is such a warm and fuzzy word. And you are right – when you have faith, you can have contentment. It doesn’t mean we can’t strive to be better and do better. It means that we have stopped whining and become partners with God in building our lives. Thanks for your insights.

    All the best,
    Leslie

  2. Hi Kevin,
    I agree with your post here, people are not simply contented with their lives these days. Being content is to be satisfied, but when people tend to get or achieve what they want, they wanted more, which in the end, gets so out of hand that they self destruct emotionally, spiritually and even physically. As the saying goes, too much of something is bad enough.
    Thanks for sharing this insightful post!