Rev. Mike Shiery
Pilgrim bible Church
West Pine St. • Cedar Springs
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:
I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13 NKJV)
Thomas Watson once said, “Discontent keeps a man from enjoying what he does possess. A drop or two of vinegar will sour a whole glass of wine.” Charles Spurgeon painted the other side of the picture, “A little sprig of the herb called content put into the poorest soup will make it taste as rich as the Lord Mayor’s turtle.”
It isn’t what we have, but what we enjoy that makes for a rich life, and the wise person understands that contentment is not having everything we want, but enjoying everything we have. It is ironic that Americans enjoy the highest standard of living, but concurrently have such an astronomical level of discontent.
Real contentment is a jewel to be treasured. Contentment is possible to possess despite circumstances which may not be what we would choose. As is always the case, real contentment is only truly possible if we base it on the foundation of a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Once we have that relationship, we must fervently maintain a freshness in that relationship. If we do not maintain a vibrant relationship with Christ then dissatisfaction, discouragement and division will spring up and discontentment results. If we keep a fresh relationship with our Savior contentment results because we are confident in the sovereignty of God to work our good in our lives.
So how do we keep a fresh spiritual walk with God and thereby stay content in a world gone mad. I believe some answers to that question are found in Psalm 1. In this passage of Scripture we are given a picture of trees growing on riverbanks, bearing fruit and exhibiting strength.
Psalm 1:1 teaches us that we are to separate from the mindset of the world. To do that we must have our minds renewed and think on things that are good and pleasing to a clear conscience.
Psalm 1:2 characterizes the contented Christian as one whose mind is saturated by the Word of God. A contented Christian has a view of life which springs from the Bible. Such saturation with the Scriptures is the secret to satisfaction in the soul.
Psalm 1:3 says that we are to be situated by the water, which is a beautiful picture of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. God’s supply of grace is inexhaustible and when we are living according to the tenets of the Bible it makes us contented.
Personal contentment in one’s soul results in proper perspectives, priorities and progress. Even in today’s chaotic events, we can still prove the truth that Godliness with contentment is great gain.