Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.–Hebrews 13:5
Content makes poor man rich; discontent makes rich men poor.-Benjamin Franklin
In the early fifth century, a man named Arenius decided to abandon his wealthy lifestyle and view life from a different perspective, a poorer perspective. He sold all he had, left his home, and lived a wanderer’s life in the deserts outside Egypt. At first, going without even basic necessities was difficult for him. After all, he was accustomed to having whatever his heart desired. As time passed, though, he learned a new way of living and became quite content with his lifestyle.
However, every time he visited the town of Alexandria, his old hometown, he would spend much time roaming the bazaars and marketplaces. He would peruse the goods being sold, admire the advances of Egyptian society, and wonder at the many different possessions to be bought. After many instances of his perusal, someone stopped him and asked why he visited the markets yet never bought anything. Why did he continue to browse if he wanted to live so minimally? He answered, “My heart does rejoice each time I see all the things I do not need in life!”
Arenius had learned to make do with what he had in his desert lifestyle. He learned that what once he considered a necessity was no longer necessary to his survival. He had learned to be content.
Contentment isn’t a popular idea nowadays. Contentment at work could get you fired. Contentment in finances could get you ridiculed. Contentment in possessions could earn you a lower social status. While we should never be content in our spiritual growth, God does want us to learn to live a contented life.
Contentment is defined as “the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind.” Discontentment leads to a very stressful, fast-paced, and often joy-less life. Always seeking newer possessions, better social status, or the newest craze is not how God desires we live. Why should we be content? “For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Our contentedness does not rest on the amount of money in our bank account, but on the fact that Christ is always with us. No matter where we go, what we do, problems we face, trials we endure, temptations we fall into, sins we commit, storms we encounter, or transitions we make, Christ is with us. God promises that He will never leave us.
The fact you have God with you at all times should cause you to rejoice! He is never more than a prayer away. No amount of money can buy that and no possessions can bring you such joy. While the world enjoys their possessions, God desires that Christians would be content with knowing He is always with them.
Are you content with having Christ as your Saviour? Are you content knowing your eternal home is Heaven? The promises of God are greater than the possessions of the world. The next time you’re tempted to chase the things of this world, remember God’s promise of provision, protection, and nearness. Think of the promises of Heaven and glory in knowing you will spend eternity with God. Allow God’s presence to create contentment in your heart today.(Dr. Paul Chappell)