Contentment does not come from what happens to us in life, but in what we believe about what happens to us in life.
“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation … whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11,12).
Contentment isn’t situational but spiritual. It’s a belief, and where does the belief come from? It’s “learned.”
That means it’s not natural, it doesn’t just happen automatically as part of our operating system. None of us are content by nature, but disagreeable 4-year-olds with ideas about entitlement and complaints against God that things aren’t going our way.
The good news is, because contentment is “learned,” you’re not stuck at the level of a 4-year-old. You can learn what it means to be content, live with a better attitude, and look at each day and say, “It’s okay. I’m good. Jesus and I, we have the situation under control. I can do this. He gives me strength.”
That belief about contentment doesn’t start with with a better video game, a better phone, a bigger paycheck or a new boyfriend.
“I rejoiced greatly in the Lord” (Philippians 4:10). Why can you be content? Why can you be happy in any situation or circumstance? The Lord.
Belief about contentment starts with Jesus, and sees circumstances the way that he sees them. How did Jesus see his own circumstances? He saw them the way that his Father saw them. He “learned” to be “content whatever the circumstances” because all he needed was his Father’s approval, his Father’s love, and his Father’s promise of strength.
Jesus knew what it was to need something other than his Father, and resisted that desire all the way to the cross to be your Savior. His thoughts about you while dying on the cross were content thoughts, not anxious, not disappointed, not angry. Content to pay the ultimate price for sin so that you don’t have to pay it. Content to share with you his Father’s approval, acceptance and strength.
Jesus is the secret about contentment.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, you make me more content. My desires can lead me to greed, foolish spending, and ungratefulness. Shape my heart more than my circumstances, so that I believe the truth about any situation. And rejoice in you! Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read Philippians 4:10-20, as the apostle Paul explains more of the secret about contentment. Pray for a content heart as you prepare for Thanksgiving.