“For I have learned that whatsoever state I am in, to therewith be content.” Phil. 4:11
What is contentment? The dictionary says it means to be satisfied. Does that mean that we aren’t to try to better our life, or the circumstances that we live in? If our health is bad, or we are in danger of having bad health, are we to be satisfied with that?
The more I study in God’s word during my devotions, the more I realize the answer is no!
The fire department came up with a saying that helps children to remember what to do if for some reason their clothing catches on fire. And we used to teach it all the time to the young kids in school.
If your clothes are on fire: STOP DROP and ROLL
I came up with one for myself when I find myself in a situation that I don’t understand or don’t know how to handle.
Whatever circumstances I find myself in: STOP THINK AND LISTEN
Contentment is not just blindly accepting everything that comes at you.
If I go to the doctor and he tells me that I am looking at being a diabetic in the next few years if my health continues the way it is going, God doesn’t expect me to sit back and say:
It’s God’s will; I’ll just have to learn to live with it.
I need to:
STOP: I can trust that God has a plan for me that includes what is best for me.
The Bible itself tells me that God doesn’t want me to suffer.
THINK: Nothing happens to me that doesn’t go through His hand first.
I am not diabetic yet. There are changes I can make in my eating habits and in the way I exercise that will slow down that sickness, and sometimes even stop it from happening altogether.
LISTEN: To the guiding of the Holy Spirit as I pray and look for answers in my Bible daily AND listen to those who are experts in teaching how to balance blood sugars in the diet. Then start doing the things that I know to do.
When I listen to my doctor and learn how to change my eating habits and begin exercising daily, that helps my body to change the way that it processes those sugars and just might keep me from having to face that problem.
But if after I have done everything that I can do, I still develop diabetes, then I can be satisfied that this is God’s plan for me at this time. I will be content with where he has put me, whether I understand the reason or not. I am still in his hand. He has a reason for this to happen and he will work it for my good and his glory. There may be another diabetic who will look at my life, the way I care for my condition and learn to care for theirs. I do not and cannot even begin to comprehend the mind of God. This is where faith and trust come in.
The main point is that everything works together for my good, whether it be my physical, emotional, or spiritual good- and for the glory of God. Learning God’s plan for my life, and you can do that through study of His word; then doing all that I can to be the best that I can be for Him is one of the keys to living a life that is content in God.
What is contentment for a Christian? To be satisfied that God has sovereign control over all things, and that nothing comes to me that hasn’t been approved by Him as being something that will be good for me in some way. When I look at my life through the lens of faith, I can know a deep ‘sticking with me’ sense of contentment that non-Christians can never understand.