Learning to be Content Part 1: Gratitude Flows from a Contented Heart

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. As we partake in our turkey feast, many will be going through that wonderful tradition of naming something for which we are grateful. But what if you are not grateful? Inwardly you groan; desperately hoping you aren’t the first one to speak so you can figure out what in the world to say—something that at least sounds good.

Deep down you truly want to be a grateful person. You know you’re supposed to be. The Bible says to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thes 5:18). But you just can’t seem to get there.

People tell you it’s a choice—and it is.

However, wouldn’t it be great if you could develop an attitude of gratitude which emanates from the core of your being, instead of only from a strong act of your will?

You CAN! I’m here to show you how in this series.

A grateful heart flows from a contented soul.

That’s our starting place. And if the Apostle Paul could learn how to be content in the most dismal of circumstances, so can we!

When I was growing up I was never satisfied. I complained a lot. I used to love that Rolling Stones song “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction!” Great beat and tune. But I think I liked it so much because it resonated with the longing that was in my soul.

One day, as a senior in high school my perturbed boyfriend said this: “You’re never satisfied, Rose, never happy!” Those words woke me up. So I tried to change, but to no avail.

The years continued to pass with that ever-present deep-seated longing. I had a decent job, a comfortable home, and a wonderful husband who loved me. Yet there was still that aching emptiness inside. Is this all there is?

I was always looking for something more. Finally—on the morning of my salvation—I found it, or rather Him. Jesus Christ Himself was what I was looking for all of my life!

Without Christ, I wasn’t complete. Like an unfinished painting, a puzzle with a missing piece, or a story without an ending I was naturally seeking to make it whole.

In vain I tried to fill that hole with everything except the One who could make me truly whole.

Ironically, that emptiness is what made me eventually turn to God.

God’s method of completing us is through His Son.

May you experience the love of Christ…. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Eph 3:19)*

As I began to abide in Christ and learn how to let God fill my needs, I felt more contented; I was becoming whole in Him.

When we trust God to meet our needs, our soul can be at rest. We’re not desperately trying to fulfill them ourselves—in our own ineffective way. Our soul can just rest in the Sovereign One who can—and be satisfied!

It’s a wonderful way to live! Will you join me on my journey as we explore how to be content in every circumstance, resulting in giving thanks in all circumstances—not just on Thanksgiving?

…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (Phil 4:11)**


*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream,

**The Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.