Thursday, May 30, 2013

Contentment or Containment?

Is it possible to be content living in this sin-filled world?

As a believer in Christ how do you find contentment? Through attending church, praying, spending time in the Word, hanging out with believers, or on your face in reverence to God?

I woke up this morning with these two words on my plate and seeking God's wisdom for what He wanted to share with you through this blog message today. I found that every study I opened today dealt with these two things and I hope you'll find something here to help you get through your day today.

When I think of contentment, I think of being happy with what you have. Not wanting anything else necessarily but just trusting in God to provide anything else you need.

Too often I think people are too busy spinning their wheels trying to find that level of contentment. Where they can sit back satisfied by what they have. Yet the one thing I've come to understand in this world, is that no matter how much we try to fast forward to the end or attempt to reach that next level of finally being satisfied, we'll undoubtedly want something else.

Think about it.

If I asked you to fill in the box, I'd be content if.....(this is where you insert what you think would make you content).


The ultimate dream job? Being your own boss? Setting your own hours?

Financial freedom?

The perfect husband? Wife? or Kids? Maybe all of the above?

The only way we can truly be content is something that must be learned through experience. You have to go through many storms, trials and stuff this world throws your way before you can ever reach that point.

It's interesting that the world content means contain internally, being self sufficient. Not in that you are sufficient that you have everything you need, but that you are sufficient in Jesus Christ. In His work. In His Spirit.

We have to trust that God will provide. He will provide. He may not always provide the things WE want, and He doesn't always do things our way. If you remember back to the story of Joseph and his brothers, we think of that initially as a pretty bad story for Joseph. Favored son out of 12, he gets a little too full of himself sharing his dreams to his brothers, gets a beautiful coat of rainbow colors and pretty soon, his brothers decide to get rid of Joseph. At first they want to kill him, but finally realize that tossing him in a well and leaving him to be sold into slavery is better than having blood on their hands. But when you get through the story you can see the Hand of God in every instance where thing went from bad to worse for Joseph and in the end God truly provided for him. Did it happen the way Joseph wanted? I would wager a guess and say with most certainty it didn't. But in the end, I can say God did provide for Joseph.

God's hand is ruling over all things in your life. No matter what the circumstances look like right now. We have such amazing promises from God to rely on and that never fail.

Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (NIV).

Philippians 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." (NIV).

We need to trust in the power of God.

God has given you blessings to glorify Him through helping others, not hoarding what you have been giving. It's time to show love to those in need by helping people out. I love what I read in one of my devotions this morning.

"In his book, Why Revival Tarries, the late preacher Leonard Ravenhill wrote of the prayerlessness of many churches. "We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere." 

The world has no internal resources when crisis comes. They reach out to what they can see around them. Self help or self medication as a means to cope. But when you look at how a tree grows, its source of strength doesn't come from the things around it, the things you can see, but by the root system, the things you can't see. It's what feeds it, waters it, and enables it to hold up to fierce storms around it.

We need to remember where our strength and contentment comes from, from what people can't see. It's through our faith in Jesus Christ. He is our vine and we are the branches. Just like a tree, we need to reach out to help this hurting world that is finding itself more in darkness as the end draws near. Let us reach out to them and love and draw them to Christ. Only in Him will we find strength, refreshment and ultimately contentment.

Remember there are no accidents only appointments from God. So who is He sending to you?

Psalm 32:8 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."


Greg C said...

Wow you must have been looking over my shoulder today. Great post. I just got an email asking me if I would do more to help out with children that need mentors. At first I said I can't because I am already overloaded but then I wrote her back and said let me know what I can do. Even if it is just a little, maybe I can help out in some way. I am directing my efforts to help others and I am letting God provide for me. I am letting Him decide what I need.

David C Brown said...

"Piety with contentment is great gain", 1 Timothy 6: 6. A very big test for all of us, I'm sure.