Phil. 4:11-12 says, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”
Contentment is learned through God’s training school of life. The world will tempt us to be dissatisfied and discontent. It will tell us we always need more. But to be content doesn’t mean that we are free from the cares of life; it means we are free from being controlled by the cares of life.
Instead of having thoughts that are filled with desiring more and more, to be content means our thoughts are filled with the Holy Spirit who is enough.
The challenging situations of life and a humble response to the LORD who uses those challenging situations for our good help us to find contentment.
2 Cor. 1:8-9 says, “For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”
The secret to finding contentment is wrapped up in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
My soul can be content because God is always working for my good and for His glory. I can never control the external events of life, but I can submit my heart and my will to God’s will, and trust Him to bring change, peace, wisdom, strength, direction, and blessings.
The heat of life doesn’t have to control me, the craving desire for more doesn’t have to be my idolatrous lust, instead the Holy Spirit can transform my mind and fill my heart, and the LORD can be the Ruler of my life. It’s then I find contentment.
2 Cor. 12:10 says, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Contentment is found only in Christ. Psa. 23:1 says, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
When the heat of life comes I can turn to God and learn from Him, instead of chasing after the wind and fighting for my will to be done. Luke 22:42 says, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
LORD, thank You that You are a God who is enough. You alone are the source of peace and joy. You alone satisfy the cravings of my heart. I humble myself before You.
When life gets “hot,” grant me Your sufficient grace that helps me to live with contentment. In Christ name I pray, amen.
For more on this topic, see this article by Rick Thomas: http://rickthomas.net/the-secret-is-revealed-for-learning-contentment/