“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:11-13
“Help me to be content no matter where I am, Lord,” I essentially prayed.
Wherever I am.
Wherever you are, are you content? Wherever you go, are you content? No matter your circumstances, are you content? No matter how easy or hard your life, are you content? No matter whether your prayers are answered or not, are you content? Are you unconditionally content? Not content based on your circumstances? Simply content. No matter where you are?
Here’s my confession. Since I was a little girl, I have struggled with this. This content issue. Most of the time, even to this very day, I have been prone to being discontent if I don’t like my circumstances. Or if I don’t like my whereabouts. Where I am in the details of my life. Or where I am geographically in terms of where I live – or where I stay now that I’m on the road full-time. Yes, I have struggled with contentment. Like I’m in a constant battle of contentment – versus discontentment.
So imagine my surprise when I burst out with the prayer. Help me to be content no matter where I am. Regardless. Wherever I am, to be content. What a roller coaster ride our lives can be if we base our contentment on our circumstances and on our geographical location.
So I prayed that prayer for my own sake, right? So I can feel good all the time, right? So I can wave the roller coaster goodbye, right? Wrong. Sure, it would be wonderful to feel good all the time. To be content every moment of my life. But that’s not why I prayed the prayer.
I want to please the Lord. I want to honor Him. I want to live the way He has called us to live. In contentment. Contentment not based on our circumstances which are ever changing. Contentment based on the Lord Jesus Christ, on God and His Word, on His blessedness, His magnificence, His goodness, His love, mercy, kindness, graciousness, patience, and peace. On His joy, devotedness, His devotedness and ours to Him, His love for us and ours for Him, His fellowship with us and ours with Him. On His awesome promise of spending forever with Him when we repent and believe in Him as Lord, truly dedicating our lives to Him. On His glory, His endless blessings, His everything, the joy of being His now and forever thanks be to Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection.
I smile as I write this, in my heart. Reminded that our contentment should reflect Christ. Should be based on Him. Not on what life brings us day in and day out. Oh, to live that way! Like the apostle Paul who found contentment no matter how hard his circumstances. Look at the verses above. Paul’s heart regarding contentment. Christ-centered. Christ-focused. Christ-blessed. And how unbelievably indescribably hard his circumstances were!
I have such a very long way to go with this. But I know it’s what I want. To be content day in and day out because I am focused on Jesus and God’s Word. Because I remember I am His – forever. Imagine how it pleases God to see His children content.
I want to be content to please and glorify God! Yes, how good contentment feels. What a blessing is contentment. How greatly contentment blesses our souls. But is not the greatest reason for contentment to show the Lord our love and thanksgiving?
Does a loving father not want to see that the fruit of the love for his children is that they are loving and content and thankful in return? Does not our heavenly Father more than anyone else deserve to see His children content – considering His unfathomably awesome indescribably wonderful blessings He bestows upon His followers beginning with a forever relationship with Himself?
Lord, help me to learn contentment. To be content. No matter where I am. Wherever I am, help me to be content. To rejoice in you, Father. To be thankful. To walk in your forever love and enjoy your awesomeness day in and day out. No matter where I am. Regardless my circumstances. Help me with this, my Father. Oh Lord!
Wherever you are, will you learn to be content? In Christ? There is a choice involved in this, isn’t there? We must, must we not, turn our hearts and gazes to the Lord of Lords, and King of Kings, and to God’s Word, and to be content and to rejoice in Him as we strive moment by moment to behold His everlasting glory? The glory of the Lord? The glory of the Lord! YES!
p.s. Within one minute of walking away from writing this, I found myself complaining aloud about the dogs. The Spirit of God brought immediate conviction. Tested already. Will I choose contentment? Oh, how I need the Lord’s help with this! Oh, how far short I fall day by day with the Lord’s will. But in His amazing love and mercy, He is patient with me, corrects me, teaches me, and leads me forth as I learn to walk in His ways.
Be faithful, friend, in following Him. Perfect we are not, but when we yield ourselves to Christ, the Lord will perfect His ways in us! Learn to be content – in Christ. For Christ!