The practice of being content as a form of spiritual discipline
Not that I’m complaining—I’ve learnt to be happy with my life, circumstances and all.
I am familiar with both falling low and rising high.
I now know how to deal with plenty and hunger, abundance and need, no matter the situation.
I am able to accomplish all things through Christ, who strengthens me (Philippians 4:12-13)
The final verse of this scripture, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me,” is a magnificent message of strength, help, and confidence from the Lord that most of us have heard before.
The meaning of these terms, however, depends heavily on their setting.
Paul is describing his struggles with poverty, hunger, and need.
He learned the discipline of contentment under these testing circumstances.
Through Christ’s strength, he understood at that moment, he can accomplish anything.
I hate to be the one to ruin the excitement surrounding this phrase, but the idea that we need to go through adversity in order to learn what it is to be content and provided for is not nearly as exciting as the promise that we will always, almost magically, have all we need in Christ.
Biblical contentment is typically associated with moderation, a trust in God’s guidance, and an eagerness to follow his commands.
Satisfaction is the essence of contentment, or the condition in which one finds happiness.
How many of us struggle to accept the ways in which we have been made and who we have become?
Learning to be content takes practice.
What prevents us from always feeling content is our tendency toward envy, ungratefulness, comparison, and dread.
Happiness isn’t a fixed condition that you can always stay in.
Seeking the life God intends for YOU means doing something about it.
In other words, it’s always being prepared to follow God’s instructions, no matter the time of year.
To do this, you must ignore all other options and concentrate solely on doing God’s will.
To find contentment, we must turn from the ideal of perfection and seek instead the goodness and restoration that comes from God.
Often, it is a shift of perspective, rather than external factors, that is required to fully appreciate God’s creation.
This could include choosing to love your husband despite going through a difficult time in your marriage or deciding to focus on the ways in which you are growing rather than fixating on the ways in which you have failed.
Putting aside the pride that says “I have to or I need to” is a challenge for many Christians.
But this is the kind of submission to which we are called.
When we put our faith in Christ, he makes us a brand new person.
Being happy is a state of mind.
It’s about spending time with God before doing anything else.
This is deliberate pause to help us concentrate.
True happiness comes from knowing without a doubt that your existence is based on your intimate relationship with God.
How to act as if He is your source of power and provision.
Having a good disposition is a blessing.
In many cases, it’s just a momentary sense of things being “correct” at the time.
The adversary is constantly at work to disrupt our serenity by planting seeds of doubt, fear, worry, and need in our brains.
The assurance, peace, and joy that come from knowing we are in God’s will and that we are loved are all gifts from God.
Finding happiness might be challenging, but it is well worth the effort.
Crossroads of Belief and Experience:
Taking a moment to reflect on ways to bring more happiness into your life is a good idea.
In a society that constantly demands more, how can you show your kids that they already have everything they need?
How can you express the truth that God is everything you need, that your life is His, and that you need never worry about failing?
You need just keep pace with Him.
That’s it; you’re done with your duties.