• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • May 2008
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Is Real Contentment Possible?

Are you content with your life and circumstances? A great many people are not. Do you often say to yourself, “I would be happy and content if I could just. . . .”? We certainly live in a culture that promotes false happiness at the expense of true contentment. After all, the purpose of the commercials we are bombarded with every day is to make us discontent with what we have by promising happiness and contentment if you purchase a new ________ (you fill in the blank). This method of finding contentment is based on the false premise that contentment is achieved by the acquisition of material possessions. I think most of us have fallen prey to this philosophy at one time or another.

The Apostle Paul writes, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 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. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13) Paul’s attitude is that contentment cannot be entrusted to circumstances or things. The secret of his contentment was his trust in God. Paul believed that the providential care of God placed him where he needed to be and thus found contentment and rest.

Blaise Pascal once observed that, “All the misfortunes of men spring from their not knowing how to live quietly at home in their own rooms.” Pascal is not advocating we become house bound hermits. He is pointing out that our lack of contentment is based on the fact that we are dissatisfied with ourselves until we find our satisfaction in God. Christ must be our greatest treasure; our pearl of great price. Only He will satisfy the hearts of those who trust in Him.

Trust in God and you will enjoy the blessing of a contented mind. It is God’s gift to the Christian. “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” (Hebrews 13:5) How can we fail to find contentment in such a promise as this?

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