Summary: Contentment is something that we all strive for, the problem is that the world tells us to all look in the wrong place, so we either become apathetic where we don’t feel anything or we spend our lives thinking you know if I only
If you have your Bibles with you this morning please hold it up high where we can all see it. Now that you have held it up I want you to open it up and read with me today one of the hardest passages in the whole Bible. It not difficult because it is filled with names and places in the Old Testament, as a matter of fact this passage is not in the Old Testament but rather in Philippians 4
Read Philippians 4:10-13
Did you hear it? Did you cringe? Probably not so les look at it a little closer. Lets reread the 11th verse.
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content
There it is, one of the hardest teachings in the whole bible is found in the Apostles last word, contentment. Paul penned this while in prison. And, he was content! How could he be? Well, he had learned that contentment and happiness are not dependent on external circumstances, but on inner qualities of the heart, and upon a right relationship with the Lord.
David gives us another picture of contentment when he writes in Psalm 23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
April 9th, 1945 Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hours from his death in a Nazi Concentration camp for his role in the underground church and involvement in a plot to assassinate Hitler. On that fateful day, this impressive theologian would write his last words. What do you think they were? Would they be words that denounce the Nazi regime? Words calling all believers everywhere to rise up and overcome this Nazi war machine? On the contrary, this is what he wrote: "What is happiness and unhappiness? It depends so little on circumstances; it really depends on what happens inside a person."
Contentment is something that we all strive for, the problem is that the world tells us to all look in the wrong place, so we either become apathetic where we don’t feel anything or we spend our lives thinking you know if I only…
We think, “If I only was 20 pounds lighter then I would be happy.” And the world says you can buy a one month supply of lard off for only $59.95 and drop that unwanted weight.
We think, “If I was smarter then I would be happy.” And the world says buy Dr. Libby’s original, patented Sublingual B-12, B-6 & Folic Acid pill and amaze your friends.”
We think, “If I was only funnier, or more popular, and had more people like me then I would be happy.” And the world says, wear our brand of clothes, drink our beer, drive our car, buy our DVD with 50 great party jokes and you will be popular.
But what happens when you loose 20 pounds, and can answer the questions on Jeopardy, while you wear stylish clothes and tell great jokes during the commercials? Are you truly content?
The problem with the worlds contentment is that you are like a dog chasing their tail. You are never fast enough to fully grab a hold of all that there is to offer, so you just fall to the ground wore out and dizzy.
What is contentment?
Well good ole Webster says that contentment is to rest satisfied, to be positive and well-pleased; to not be disgruntled or disheartened. Freedom from care or discomfort.
The Pulpit Commentary says that, "It is quiet restfulness in the midst of all kinds of changing events. It is a cordial acquiescence in the arrangements of Heaven."
The JHV or Jeremy Houck Version says that it is peace in the very core of your soul.
So many of us live day to day without that peace in our souls that not only do we not know what it feels like but we have forgotten that it is supposed to be there, but God says if we are his children we are to be content.
In Luke 3:14 we read "And be content with your wages."
Here John was teaching the soldiers, and to us today. You see contentment would prevent the soldiers from intimidating others (doing violence), and practicing blackmail (falsely accusing) because of their low wage scale.
It helps us to remember that God has fulfilled His promise to provide us with all that we need. I have got to learn not to make money so I can live, but trust that God will allow me to live with what I make.
Paul again writes but this time in 1 Timothy 6:6-8 "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be there with content.".