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“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.” Philippians 4:11
You’ve heard it or said it before:
“I’ll be happy when”…
When…I get married.
When I lose weight.
When I win the lottery.
When I have children, am debt free, and die and go to heaven.
When this and when that…the list could go on forever!
It’s easy to get carried away materialistically or get discouraged when you feel you’re lacking something.
And it’s easy to scratch your head begging the question,“Can I ever be fully satisfied?”
But the Bible says Jesus came to give you life and that more abundantly. (John 10:10)
It says God wants you to live a life of contentment – right now!
But how can you tap into this abundant life?
How can you enjoy your life no matter what you have or don’t have?
Can happiness really be a reality today, not just when all your goals are met and all your dreams come true?
If so, how?
The Sure Way to Turn Your Envy into Contentment
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” – Exodus 20:17
Contentment comes when you keep your eyes on Jesus.
Not on everything going on around you, or on what others around you have.
Did you ever notice the discontentment, bitterness, and jealousy all come when you compare:
- your job
- your car
- your spouse
- your kids
- or anything else…to anyone else?
That’s because you’re falling into the enemy’s deceptive trap called envy.
And envy is not only a sin, but completely toxic to your life!
It’s believing the lie that, “the grass is greener on the other side.”
And takes your focus off of God and His kingdom, by placing it on the world and your own kingdom.
God made “not coveting” one of His 10 Commandments for a reason!
It causes you to be ungrateful for who you are, what you have, and the person God created you uniquely to be.
And it can actually cause you to become bitter with God and with others!
You’ll either become prideful in thinking you’re better than someone else.
Or, you’ll become discouraged in thinking someone else is better than you.
The Apostle Paul said it best – it’s unwise and ignorant!
“Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!” – 2 Corinthians 10:12 (NLT)
No matter who you are, what you’ve done, or what happens to you, God loves you and has a special plan for your life.
You weren’t created by mere chance! You are not an accident!
God has a specific purpose for your distinct personality, upbringing, spiritual gifts, strengths, and even your weaknesses.
You were fearfully and wonderfully made in His image.
And God never makes mistakes. (See Psalm 139)
Don’t Be So Earthly Minded You’re No Heavenly Good
“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” – Hebrews 13:5
God wants you to trust Him, thank Him, and praise Him no matter what He gives you or takes away from you.
Because it’s when you have a heart of gratitude for what you do have, that you’re less likely to complain about what you don’t have.
So no matter how difficult it gets, always remind yourself that greater things have yet to come!
Remind yourself that true contentment comes when your life is centered on Jesus Christ, not the things of this world.
Because Jesus Christ is coming back for you soon!
One day you will change your residence from earth to heaven.
And in heaven, your clothing size won’t matter.
What designer made your clothes won’t matter.
The type of car you’re driving, the neighborhood you’re living in, and all of the cares and concerns of this life won’t matter!
Everything under the sun is temporary.
It will all one day fade away.
Wealth is fading. Health is fading. And beauty and charm are fading! (Prov. 31:20)
Power, prestige, comfort, pleasure, and everything this world has to offer you will one day cease to be!
But anyone who fears God and does what pleases Him will never fade away.
So nothing in this world can fill the empty hole in your heart.
Because nothing else in this world besides God will leave you fully satisfied.
It’s time to stop caring about what others think of you.
It’s time to stop trying to keep up with the Jones’.
And it’s time to enjoy your life – right now!
By keeping your eyes on that which is above.
By magnifying Jesus Christ not Coco Channel.
And by storing up your treasures in heaven.(Matthew 6:19-20)
Not the Public Storage down the street. And not in your bank account!
Contentment Comes When You Trust God Completely
The Bible promises you in Psalm 23:1 that if you have Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you have everything you need.
Because God says Himself He already knows what you have need of.
He promises to be with you everywhere you go and to never let you down.
He knows the bills that need to be paid.
He knows the food that you need to fill up your refrigerator.
He even knows what you’re going to say even before you say it!
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Not your money, not your employer, and not yourself.
It’s when you seek first God’s kingdom and His righteous, that all these things will be given to you. (Matthew 6:33)
The Bible says in James 4:2, “You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.”
If you’re in need of something, have you asked God for it specifically through prayer?.
If your answer is yes, then contentment is a choice you make with whatever answer He’s given you.
If your answer is no, then go ahead and pray.
Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He’s already done. (Phil. 4:6-7)
Cast all your cares, burdens, wants and needs up to Him knowing that He will take care of them for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
Trust Him to keep you, never leave or forsake you, and provide for your needs.
I assure you, He will.
He will exchange your stress, anxiety, and discontentment with contentment, satisfaction, and joy.
And overwhelm you with His perfect peace that exceeds anything you yourself can understand.
A peace that will bring the contentment you’re seeking.
A contentment that will surely change your life forever.
“For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10
Ask yourself this question:
“Am I living my life for the world’s approval and acceptance, or for God’s approval and acceptance?”
Because the world will try and fit you into their cookie cutter mold.
They will tell you you’re not good enough.
You’re not wealthy enough, pretty enough, or smart enough.
But don’t believe their lies.
Don’t listen to and internalize their words because they’re not true!
The truth is, you’re a child of the living God.
And God says you’re already complete in Him.
He says you’re beautiful, valuable, and more precious than rubies!
You have been set apart from this corrupt and wicked world to do the work of your Father who sits on a throne in heaven!
So stop caring so much about what this world thinks of you.
Stop allowing the criticism and judgments of others to move you.
The world may judge you based on what they see outwardly.
But God doesn’t.
God sees you for who you are on the inside.
He looks directly at your heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
Remember that you’ve been bought for with a price.
And have been made worthy by the blood of Jesus Christ.
You truly are lacking absolutely nothing because of your personal relationship with Him!
God is good, sovereign, faithful, and “owns the cattle on a thousand hills”. (Psalm 50:10)
He knows what you have need of and His resources are not scarce!
He knows what tomorrow brings.
There’s not a day in heaven He has not seen.
So in all things, allow Him to be your life and breath.
Want what He wants and nothing less.
Study Verses: 1 Timothy 6:8, James 4:2-3, Philippians 4:6-7