Monday, June 27, 2011
Contentment: An Ingredient of Peace
. . . for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances . . .
I have learned the secret of being content in every situation.
Phil 4:11b, 12b (NIV)
PAUL AND CONTENTMENT
Paul wrote to the people at Philippi an important fact of his life. He was content with who he was and what he did. When we focus on his letter to the Philippians, we need to remember he wrote these words from prison. This fact underscores the idea that our state of contentment doesn’t come from this world. It comes from God.
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win he prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 3:1214.)
In Be Joyful, his Bible Study on the book of Philippians, theologian Warren Wiersbe explained that while we may have things of our past come to mind, we don’t have to be controlled by them. Jesus told us we could rely on him “For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” (Matt 11.29) We all need to turn our burdens and cares over to Him each day because, when we do, He makes them His and we no longer have to worry about them.
It is important for every child of God to find contentment and peace in his or her heart. Personal peace is the foundation of interpersonal peace. In turn this leads to peace between nations, which leads to peace in the world. But, we won’t have true, lasting peace until Jesus comes to reign.
When we find contentment, we no longer have the anxiety we experienced in our earlier days. Didn’t Jesus tell us that each day brings new worries to be dealt with? (Matt.6:34)
We no longer murmur or grumble as we once did. (1 Cor. 10:10) Greed no longer has hold of us. (Heb 13:5)
As we progress in our Christian walk, we become aware of our unworthiness. Jacob recognized his failings as a brother and had to confess his sin to God. (Gen 32:9-13) We realize God is the only one we can trust. (Heb 3:17-19)
WHAT IS CONTENTMENT?
Webster’s New World Dictionary defines contentment as: “the acceptance of circumstances without grumbling.” Why do we grumble? Is it because we expect more from our lives? Do we expect more from those around us? Do we want things from God that we shouldn’t have? Do we feel others owe us something that we really don’t deserve?