“I’m content”, you say. Of course you are–you don’t have cancer or heart disease, your bills are paid, you have a job, your wife hasn’t filed for divorce, your husband isn’t cheating on you, your loving spouse is still alive. Who wouldn’t be content? But how content would you be if all those things were gone? Anyone want to take bets on it? I suspect you will feel far different if your world falls apart.” I’m content”, you say, but is it really true? Chances are you are “content” only until you discover something else you want.
You claim to be content because you have everything you want–for the moment. That’s nothing to brag about.If a person can’t be content in those conditions nothing will make him content. It’s when we lose all that we hold dear that we are really put to the test. However, our duty to be content isn’t dependent on our welfare. We, Christians, are obligated to be content regardless of our circumstances. It’s when things are at their worst when we are truly tested. We don’t hear much bragging then. But, difficulty never exempts us from duty. Keeping that in mind, it’s easy to see that most of us are not as strong and spiritual as we think–or as we would like for others to think we are.
Conditions for Paul were horrible, yet he could say in all honesty, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content”. Perhaps you’re thinking, “But I’m not as strong as Paul”. So? Tell me something new–I already had that figured out. I’m not either, but that doesn’t matter. It’s not a matter of how weak or strong we are. It’s a matter of how surrendered we are. Paul’s God is our God. What he could do we can do, if we do as he did– surrender our all to God. We are strengthened and enabled to do as we are commanded only when we acknowledge our weakness and appropriate His strength. The first step to becoming content is admitting we’re not. That’s something most people will never do. What about you?
The key to Paul’s contentment, and ours, is found in Phil. 1:21,”For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” When we can say that and mean it we will truly be content– regardless of circumstances. When He is all that matters nothing else will matter, because pleasing Him is all that matters. Knowing He is content makes me content.