Often, I picture contentment being a moment of stillness when everything surrounding me is calm and peaceful. Beds are made, dishes are done, children are napping, and I’m sitting on a cool porch in the sunlight with a hot cup of coffee. It sounds lovely, right?
However, Christian contentment works in the opposite direction. The definition I like to use is this one:
Christian contentment is an inward assurance in God’s sovereignty and goodness that produces the fruit of joy and peace and thanksgiving in the life of a believer, regardless of outward circumstances. It begins inward and is independent of daily events and circumstances.
Its source is God’s character and his plan, not our own. It is rooted in the belief that God is working all things for our greatest good—shaping us into the image of Jesus. This belief allows us to view every tantrum and trial as a means by which God is at work in us, not just us at work in our child.
How Do We Get Contentment?
I’m always encouraged when I read Paul’s words to the Philippians: Not that I am speaking of being in need, for 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
Contentment isn’t something that descended upon Paul the moment he came to faith. He learned it. That means there’s hope for you and me to learn it too!
We desperately need the truth of God’s word to remind us of the good news of the gospel. Through Christ, we’re empowered to rejoice in the goodness of our God even when our circumstances don’t offer many reasons for rejoicing. No matter what happens in our day, our soul is secure in Christ, our eternal inheritance kept in heaven.
Today, God is at work in every detail of your day. He never forgets you and he always sees you. Take your worries and concerns, hopes and dreams to him. Trust in him, rest in him—as the Psalmist says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11