J. Paul Getty, one of the richest men in the world, was asked, what single thing he would change if he had the power, he replied: “I’d change philosophy. People should learn to be content. The way to cure discontentment is NOT necessarily with more. The old cliche about money buying happiness is certainly true.” Washington Post
We are a society that seems to think that buying more and more, pursuing more and more in life will make us happy. And in those efforts we believe that life will be much more simple and much more fulfilling.
Contentment can be a lifelong pursuit. And one that is so very elusive. Our society craves more and if we’re not happy it must mean that we need something new to fill that void that we may have.
In finding a place of contentment we go into debt and then struggle to pay off the credit card that we have incurred. Trying to find a place of being satisfied leads to the destruction of marriages and lead the a nation that has the highest divorce rate in the world. One can spend their entire life struggling to find a place where they can be content. Content in where they are, and content in who they are.
We find a great lesson on being content in who we are, where we are, but mostly we find how we can find a place of peace and contentment in God.
In Philippians 4, the apostle Paul finds himself imprisoned on false charges by corrupt officials and awaiting possible execution. Anyone in that position would find it difficult to be content with the possibility of death for something that had not done.While in prison Paul receives a gift from the Philippian church in the form of a financial blessing. In verses 10-13, we see how Paul finds a place of peace and contentment in God.
.10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 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. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Paul is refreshed and happy about the concern of the church for his wellbeing. He replies in a note to the church to express his gratitude, but does not want them to believe that he is in a better place because of their gift.
The apostle was content in his current situation before receiving the gift and concern of the church. In his note he tells them that he has endured everything imaginable. Yet his faith had remained in the goodness and faithfulness of God.
The disciple and minister or the gospel knew that God was watching over him, and that it was God who would deliver him from the situation. Paul knew that the love of God and his love for Christ was all sufficient to see him through to glory.
Being content does not mean being complacent. As believers we are called to hard work and to work out our salvation. We can better our circumstances through hard work and the rewards that comes from it (1st Corinthians 7:21).
Contentment is an inner peace and tranquility in knowing that we are in a right relationship with our creator. The peace comes from knowing and understanding our salvation and the promises of God. Paul learned to be content focusing on the faithfulness, grace and mercy of God.
We too can learn to be content. We can stop chasing a better life by buying or seeking more and finding that all of those things do not truly make us find joy and peace. We can find joy and peace in knowing that God is ALL Sufficient. He has our best interest at hearts and that he rewards those of us who live a life of faithfulness and obedience.
God wants us to focus on him, and to remember who we are in him. He wants us to find our joy not in things of the world, but in him; in his love for his children.
For a long time, I tried to find peace and joy in the world. I chased everything under the sun. None of it satisfied me like the love that I feel by being in the presence of my lord and savior Jesus Christ. I have a lot of great friends and family members and they have been there for me. But the only one who has taken every step with me if my God.
So today, do not follow my example of old. Follow me in my pursuit of God and you too can find peace, joy, and thus a place of being content no matter the circumstance. We have all tried the worldly things and we all know that it does not work. Paul knew the way to true peace. God is waiting for us to focus on him and allow him to rule our hearts.
Remember that Brenda and I love you, and that God does too.
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