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CONTENTMENT

 

“…for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Phil.4:11(b) (KJV).

 

The definition of contentment from a biblical perspective is: “An internal satisfaction which does not demand changes in external circumstances”—Holman Bible Dictionary.

 

But I think it obvious that this is not the way the masses of the world view life. Even those who are filthy rich continue to strive for more money and power and relative levels of satisfaction are measured in terms of having more than the next guy. When asked how much money it would take to make him happy a famous industrialist supposedly said, “Just a little more.” And tee shirts emblazoned with, “The man who dies with the most tools wins,” reflect that all-too human passion. 

 

Are you contented? If you are a genuine believer in Jesus Christ, peace of heart and mind should be yours to enjoy. Your heavenly Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills and the wealth in every mine. He has limitless resources and, as a minimum, will give to us according to our actual need.

 

“And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” Phil.4:19 (Amplified Bible).

 

Our problem is that we often do not understand the difference between “need” and “want.” The basic needs we all share are food, clothing and shelter. And all “things” beyond that are nice, but not absolutely necessary! So believers need to wake up to the fact that the world around us is exhibiting the characteristics of the “last days” predicted by the Apostle Paul and if we are not extremely careful, their covetous attitude of “wanting it all” will rub off on us.

 

“For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters…” 2 Tim.3:2(a) (Amplified Bible).

 

I think it was the author Mark Twain who said something to the effect that he had learned how to be contented with the very best! Although though his intent was to be humorous, the sentiment expressed is all too indicative of our depraved human nature. And because of that basic flaw in all of us, society has become materialistic to a degree never before seen in human history. All across the world people have become “shopaholics” and act like sharks in a feeding frenzy! Multiplied millions are so deeply in debt that bankruptcy appears to be their only way out. “Easy credit” continues to appeal to the unwary and the buy now and pay later craze continues. The fish have taken the bait and are running with it, but when the devil sets the hook and plunges the world into a monetary crisis of unprecedented proportions, most of them will be reeled in and wind up on his dinner table.

 

And in his first Epistle to Timothy, the Apostle Paul had some very pointed things to say about preachers who aid and abet the enemy by promoting the ridiculous and unscriptural notion that believers should strive to be rich:

 

“But if anyone teaches otherwise and does not assent to the sound and wholesome messages of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and the teaching which is in agreement with godliness (piety toward God), 4 He is puffed up with pride and stupefied with conceit, [although he is] woefully ignorant. He has a morbid fondness for controversy and disputes and strife about words, which result in (produce) envy and jealousy, quarrels and dissension, abuse and insults and slander, and base suspicions, And protracted wrangling and wearing discussion and perpetual friction among men who are corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, who imagine that godliness or righteousness is a source of profit [a moneymaking business, a means of livelihood]. From such withdraw. 6 [And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and obviously we cannot take anything out of the world; 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content (satisfied). 9 But those who crave to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish (useless, godless) and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction and miserable perishing. 10 For the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many acute [mental] pangs” 1 Tim.6:3-10 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).

 

God “knows our frame” and that we are just “dust” (Ps.103:14). So does it not make sense that He not only knows what is best for His children, but will always take steps to ensure that we have what we need?  Does it not make sense that some of us cannot handle wealth and therefore God does not let us have it? Would you give your children a rattlesnake just because they thought it was very pretty and wanted it more than anything? I think not! Yet most parents today indulge their children and spoil them to such a degree that when they marry and have children of their own, the “have it all” mentality is propagated exponentially—even though in the vast majority of cases there will not be enough income to maintain such a standard of living. That, my friend, is stupid behavior by any standard of measurement and for the Christian to engage in it is downright sinful.

 

Is God blessing you with riches? If so, remember that you are His steward and make every effort to give generously to His work. Then thank Him daily for entrusting you with such good things—all the while keeping in mind that they could be taken away. Use the things of this world and never let them use you.

 

Are you practically destitute? Could it be your predicament is the result of being fiscally irresponsible? Did you spend your way into “the poor house?” My experience has been that most—but certainly not all—Christians who fall upon hard times have no one to blame but themselves. If that is what happened to you, pray and ask God for forgiveness and then make every effort to use better judgment in the future. Money is a good thing to have, but foolishly wasting it on non essentials is a recipe for disaster. So never make the mistake of trying to blame God. He has promised to meet your needs and it may be that you should lower your expectations a notch or two and be content with what you have.

 

Some believers find themselves in dire circumstances and cannot fathom why God would be “punishing” them. If that is true in your case, it could very well be due to His seeking vindication for Himself through your actions as you cope with the trouble. We see that principle demonstrated in the old patriarch Job as God allowed the devil to afflict him horribly. But God knew what Job was made of and that he would not buckle under the pressure. Then when Job passed the test, all the host of heaven observed that fact and God received the honor and glory. Perhaps that is the reason for your difficulty. But in any case, just keep on trusting God, do the best you can each day, and patiently seek His will for your life.

 

True contentment is mirrored in the life of Jacob’s son Joseph (Genesis, chapters 37-50). Through no fault of his own, he was subjected to numerous setbacks that would have destroyed lesser men. But he did not compromise and through it all remained faithful to God even though he was falsely accused and imprisoned for years. Then in due time, God used him to deliver and protect the very brothers who had betrayed him—thereby miraculously preserving the nation of Israel, through which the Messiah was to come. So even in the midst of trials and tribulations, Joseph exhibited godly contentment and continued to walk by faith.

 

The same is true of the Apostle Paul, who penned the words of our subtitle: “…for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Phil.4:11(b) (KJV). He too was intentionally subjected to much suffering and indignities (Acts 9:16) as he spread the Gospel message, because that was the Lord’s will. And his remarks leading up to that statement about being contented are as follows:

 

“Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice! 5 Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is coming soon]. 6 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. 7 And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 8 For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. 9 Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you” Phil.4:4-9 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).

 

Are you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared for whatever the future may hold? My prayer is that all of us may be—as someone I knew once put it—“as tough as woodpecker lips!”

If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.

If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.

We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order Kingdom of Antichrist in their daily news.

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God bless you