* Satan tries to undermine our contentment
Eve was approached by Satan in the Garden of Eden, where she and Adam lived. He questioned her contentment. How could she be happy when she was not allowed to eat from one of the fruit trees? Satan helped Eve shift her focus from all that God had done and given to the one thing he had withheld. And Eve was willing to accept Satan’s viewpoint without checking with God.
Sound familiar? How often is our attention drawn from the much that is ours to the little that isn’t? We get that “I’ve got to have it” feeling. Eve was typical of us all, and we consistently show we are her descendants by repeating her mistakes. Our desires, like Eve’s, can be quite easily manipulated. They are not the best basis for actions. We need to keep God in our decision-making process always. His Word, the Bible, is our guidebook in decision making. (NLT)
* Contentment understands who supplies our needs
To covet is to wish to have the possessions of others. It goes beyond simply admiring someone else’s possessions or thinking, “I’d like to have one of those.” Coveting includes envy–resenting the fact that others have what you don’t. God knows, however, that possessions never make anyone happy for long. Since only God can supply all our needs, true contentment is found only in him. When you begin to covet, try to determine if a more basic need is leading you to envy. For example, you may covet someone’s success, not because you want to take it away from him, but because you would like to feel as appreciated by others as he is. If this is the case, pray that God will help you deal with your resentment and meet your basic needs. (NLT)
Exodus 20:17 – “Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else your neighbor owns.”
* Contentment is not found in money
We deceive ourselves when we measure our happiness or contentment in life by the amount of wealth we possess. When we put riches at the top of our value system, we let power, pleasure, and financial security overshadow the eternal value of our relationship with God. We think we will be happy or content when we get riches, only to discover that they don’t really satisfy, and the pleasures fade away. The true measurement of happiness or contentment is found in God’s love and in doing his will. You will find true happiness if you put your relationship with God above earthly riches. (NLT)
Psalm 17:13-15 – Arise, O Lord! Stand against them and bring them to their knees! Rescue me from the wicked with your sword! Save me by your mighty hand, O Lord, from those whose only concern is earthly gain. May they have their punishment in full. May their children inherit more of the same, and may the judgment continue to their children’s children.
But because I have done what is right, I will see you. When I awake, I will be fully satisfied, for I will see you face to face.
* Humility brings contentment
Pride results from overvaluing ourselves above others. It leads to restlessness because it makes us dissatisfied with what we have and concerned about what everyone else is doing. It keeps us always hungering for more attention and adoration. By contrast, humility puts others first and allows us to be content with God’s leading in our lives. Such contentment gives us security so that we no longer have to prove ourselves to others. Let humility and trust affect your perspective and give you the strength and freedom to serve God and others. (NLT)
Psalm 131:1-2 – Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or awesome for me. But I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes, like a small child is my soul within me.
* Contentment with what you have
Jesus contrasted heavenly values with earthly values when he explained that our first loyalty should be to those things that do not fade, cannot be stolen or used up, and never wear out. We should not be fascinated with our possessions, lest they possess us. This means we may have to do some cutting back if our possessions are becoming too important to us. Jesus is calling for a decision that allows us to live contentedly with whatever we have because we have chosen what is eternal and lasting. (NLT)
Matthew 6:24 – [Jesus said] “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or he devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
* Contentment in any situation you face
Are you able to get along happily (be content) in any circumstances you face? Paul knew how to be content whether he had plenty or whether he was in need. The secret was drawing on Christ’s power for strength. Do you have great needs, or are you discontented because you don’t have what you want? Learn to rely on God’s promises and Christ’s power to help you be content. If you always want more, ask God to remove that desire and teach you contentment in every circumstance. He will supply all your needs, but in a way that he knows is best for you. (NLT)
Philippians 4:10-14 – How grateful I am, and how I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but for a while you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need. But even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.
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