Learning—that is the operative word here. We’re not born content. I just love that the Lord tells us not only what to do but how to do it! He gives us the knowledge in His Word and then empowers us to carry it out as we do our part.
In these next 2 blogs, I will discuss the practical side of being content. Here’s…
The #1 key in learning to be content—Put God First
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Mat 6:33)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mk 12:30)
This means putting God’s will above our own will, submitting to His desires, placing all our needs and wants on the altar, and seeking to obey Him at all cost—just like Jesus did with the Father. He was obedient onto death—even death on a cross! (1 Phil 2:8, Lk 22:42)
I imagine that Jesus must have been the most contented man who ever lived; He always sought to please His Father—and He always did (Jn 5:30, Jn 8:28-30).
Now think about this: if you are a believer, Jesus the God-Man is living inside of you. We learn to be content through the One who was and is content.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4:13 NKJV).
That’s the only way Paul would have been able to be content in his many difficulties. That’s the only way we can.
A contented heart flows from a heart after God
God must be first! Otherwise, we are worshipping other gods—the god of money, self-actualization, accomplishment…. A contented life is available, but having it is conditional upon our obedience to God.
“So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul—then I will send rain on your land in its season…. You will eat and be satisfied.” (Deut 11:13-15)
May I tell you, surrendering to God isn’t a killjoy! His commands are not burdensome (1 Jn 5:3). When you know the real God—His true character—He is a delight to obey. Ten times in Psalm 119 alone, the author speaks of his joy in obeying God.
I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. (v 14)*
I’m not denying that sometimes it is difficult. However, if we focus on the goodness and love of God, it will be easier to obey. If we look at our unmet needs and desires as an opportunity to offer a specific sacrifice in appreciation for all that God has done for us, it would be easier to lay them down.
“It is easy to obey God when the heart is right.”(Barnes)
If we find God’s commands onerous it’s simply because we have not surrendered. Our wills are not in line with God’s will. There’s a war going on. The more we surrender our fleshly desires the more we will want, even love, to obey His commands, and…
The more we will see obedience to our wonderful God as the best way to live!
I have discovered that the more important God becomes to me, and the less important I become, the more content I am (Jn 3:30).
So my friends, if you want to be content, develop a heart after God, put Him first. If you and I work toward becoming increasingly obedient to our Maker, He will be pleased and will communicate His pleasure to us.
And let me tell you putting a smile on your Savior’s face will bring you a sense of satisfaction to your soul that goes way beyond words. He truly is worth it!
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable [pleasing]. This is truly the way to worship him. (Rom 12:1 NLT)
*See also Ps 119:16, 24, 35, 47, 70, 92, 143, 174.
Except where indicated all Scripture quotations are taken from 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.
(NKJV) New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
(NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.