How to be content

how to be content

“Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have…” Hebrews 13:5a

Ah, contentment. Knowing that your security does not come from material possessions. I thought I knew something about being content, but today the Lord challenged me about a different kind of contentment.

Today I struggled with frustration and even feeling heartsore as I watched something that I had tried to improve seemingly go awry. I was having a hard time continuing with what I was doing, and the temptation to give up or run away was definitely present.

As I took some time out just to breathe and pray about what to do, I felt the Lord say “Be content with what you have”. My first thought in response to that was: What do you mean, Lord? This had nothing to do with money or possessions. I wondered for a moment why this was the verse that had come so clearly to mind in the situation.

I felt the Father say that I needed to be content with what I had right there in the situation. I needed to be content with the people that I was working with; I needed to be content with what I had tried to do, and what was happening now. Even more, I needed to be content with my life – the season I am in, the stage my children are at. Just. Be. Content.

I couldn’t argue with that. Discontent robs us of so much! The abundant life Jesus came to bring us isn’t the life where we are constantly wishing our kids were younger or older or more well behaved; or that we were better at managing our money, or that we were as good as planning holidays as someone else. It may not be about possessions, but it can still be coveting. I guess I hadn’t looked at it in that light.

So I decided to change my attitude in the situation, and let myself be content with it the way it was. The result can only testify to a God who gives wisdom without finding fault. I had thought the situation was only going to go south, and possibly become unsalvageable. Instead, as my worries and despair dissipated, so did the negative atmosphere and tension. What looked like something that would become untenable suddenly became manageable in the light of being content, and things started to change.

Looking back over the afternoon, I am amazed by how God made everything work, and how being content could make such a difference. When I came to read the rest of the verse that I had remembered, the reason for the difference became obvious:

“..for God has said, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, the Lord is my helper, what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5b-6

That is the reason we can be content in any situation – God is there in it! We can have confidence knowing that He is on our side. If He is for us, who can be against us? Powers of darkness must flee in the presence of the Lord, and we carry His presence with us!

It is such an encouragement to me, this reminder of God’s promise to be with us and fight for us. If the Lord is my helper, I can do anything. It doesn’t matter how desperate the situation. It doesn’t matter whether or not I have the skills I think I need. What matters is that I trust in God, and rest content in Him.

May you know His presence and the contentment that comes from knowing He is your helper.

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