Cultivating a Spirit of Contentment
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4: 11-13
When I was younger I will admit that I was often a very discontented man. It seemed I was endlessly chasing the next thing that would make me happy, that would leave me fulfilled, that would cause me to want no more or want nothing else. My discontentedness in those days often came from my means of employment or to state it more plainly, MY JOB. As for my previous profession, I will admit that the construction trade is a very difficult occupation. There are trade deadlines which cause stress in management, which causes stress in superintendents, which then naturally would roll down to me and would fill my entire day and being with stress. After a while I came to realize that my discontentedness did not all come from this stress, even in times of calm and quietness in the industry I still felt unhappy and unfulfilled. I finally realized that my unhappiness stemmed not so much from my profession as from not doing what I was called and made to do. I felt like I was between a rock and a hard place, I could not afford to leave my job and support my family because of my own selfishness to fulfill what I believe God was calling me to do.
So I prayed about it and then I let the Lord lead the way. I kept my eyes and my soul cognizant of opening doors and closing doors that would lead me to total fulfillment and contentedness. This did not happen all at once, it was a steady, step by step following of the Spirit, it took many years in fact, but with each day as I surrendered my entire life to the Lord’s guidance, I felt my uneasiness disperse and a sense of calm presence ensue. With this surrender I had to learn not to rely on my own understanding or push too fast, the Lord always paved the way to where I was called to be. And what I learned along the way, much the same as the apostle Paul, was the ability to always be content in the moment, even though things did not seem to be going my way, I knew with patience and perseverance that God was always working for me, it may not seem so at the moment, but I trusted that in all things God was working for my good.
What are you discontented with today? Surrender and pray. Do you often think, if only this or that would happen I would be finally happy? Surrender and pray. Have you prayed about your situation and have you surrendered your whole will for God’s purpose? The way to cultivate a constant spirit of contentedness is to always know and acknowledge that God is always working for you, not against you, that God wants to prosper you and not to harm you.
So trust in this goodness, even when you seem to be surrounded by want, uncertainty, and adversity. Take each day as a gift, that is why it is called the present, enjoy all that you are today while still hoping for a better tomorrow and surrender all your yearnings to the Lord in prayer.
Pastor Scott and Pastor Jenny
Remember to fast and pray today if you are physically able:
Pray for healing for those with illness.
Pray for those looking for jobs.
Pray for our country and our leaders for a discernment and a spirit of unity.
Pray for the persecuted Christians around the world.
Pray during your fast today for God’s will and plan for a fulfilled life.