Summary: Where are you on the contentment scale? Do you have genuine contentment in your life? The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:11, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” The contentment Paul speaks
Where are you on the contentment scale? Do you have genuine contentment in your life? The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:11, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” The contentment Paul speaks of is the realization of Psalm 23:1: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” and what Paul proclaims to us in 2 Corinthians 9:8: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;”
So Paul did not speak from want but understood and experienced genuine contentment. However, Satan is an imitator of light and his tactics have not changed through the centuries. He is the great counterfeiter. And yes, He will counterfeit contentment in your life. I believe a counterfeit contentment exists today which is robbing the Christian of rich blessings and the church of much needed resources to accomplish the work God has called us to do. A counterfeit contentment is lulling many a Christian and the church to sleep and we need to hear the call of the shipmaster to Jonah in Jonah 1:6: “… What meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.” The warning in Proverbs 24:33-34 is speaking to our hearts: “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep; So shall thy poverty come as a robber, And thy want as an armed man.” I believe many, unlike Paul, are speaking from want.
It is for this reason I am burdened by the Lord to share this message with you. A wrong perception of contentment can be both destructive and obstructive. It tears us down by distorting our view of ourselves. It and also hinders God from using us because we become closed minded behind to what God wants to do in our lives and our churches. Therefore, we must guard against hiding behind the fabricated walls of a counterfeit contentment.
To identify if such walls of counterfeit contentment exist in your life and the life of others, you must first know how to recognize the real thing. Genuine contentment is first shown by a recognition of our unworthiness of God’s abundant grace and mercy. There is nothing in us to merit anything from God. It comes to us from His character. Jacob learned this truth when he told the Lord in Genesis 32:10: “I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which You have shown to Your servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies.” The Apostle Paul referred to himself as the chief of sinners and proclaimed this same recognition of unworthiness in himself in 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 when he said: “Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
Second, genuine contentment comes from an unwavering trust in God. Habakkuk learned this truth and could proclaim in Habakkuk 3:17-19: “Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.” Like Job, Habakkuk could say, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.” He had an unwavering trust in God.
Third, genuine contentment comes from a recognition of God’s care. Learning this truth, the Psalmist says (145:14-20), “The Lord sustains all who fall And raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to You, And You give them their food in due time. You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. The Lord keeps all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy.” Likewise, the Apostle Peter in the New Testament writes of God’s care: “casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).