Contentment

Devotional: Philippians 4:11-13

Finding_Contentment_00035942“I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance.  I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:11-13

How much is enough?  Are we ever content?  Often people get caught up in working as many hours as possible in order to have the biggest house on the block, the most memorable vacation, or the best education that money can buy.  One can work and strive only to become more and more discontent.  We come to realize that something is missing.  Satan can delude us into thinking that those things will bring lasting joy and meaning to our days. We may rationalize that we are gone “this much” and working “that hard” for the sake of our families, so it must be okay.

Have you ever thought along these lines?:

“My kids have not seen me except in passing for three weeks, but they would be so disappointed if we don’t make our annual pilgrimage to the Magic Kingdom…”

Or, “I haven’t made it to any of Junior’s swim meets this year but working overtime was the only way to pay for those private lessons with Coach Awesome.  Now, if Junior can only make it onto the college swim team it will have all been worth it!”

Or perhaps, “We really need a larger home so that we can entertain our Life Group in comfort.  Surely, no one will come if they have to sit on the floor…”

It is not necessarily wrong to have or want such things, and working long hours is often essential for just meeting a family’s basic needs.  The deceit comes in when we put the pursuit of “more and more” above those things which have eternal consequences.  Seeking after God Himself and His righteousness should be our focus.  Which garners more of our time, godly pursuits or worldly pursuits?  I love God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Seek God every morning through prayer.  Pray each day for Him to show you how you might bring Him glory and benefit others.  Perhaps you will be asked to drive a friend to a doctor’s appointment, _DSC4514pray for a relative who needs to know Jesus, or maybe go on that short term mission trip to Haiti.  Or, more simply, it might just be that God wants us to “show up” for our families and be available to them.

How beautiful is Matthew 6:33!  “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Maybe, just maybe, when we begin to truly put God first and Christ at the center of our lives, we will find out that there is already enough money and hours in the day to do all that He wants us to do – all that really needs to be done.  We might discover that those extra hours at work keeping us away from church and our families were not at all necessary, that a bigger house requires way too much maintenance, and that sitting on the floor with fellow believers in Christ reminds us to pray for those meeting in house-churches all over the world.  Your son might even confess that after way too many hours spent in a pool, he now hates swimming and wants to try basketball! The biggest surprise yet could come when you learn that your kids have been waiting for YOU to outgrow Disney so they can stay home and enjoy one whole summer long “staycation”.

Don’t let the pursuit of more overshadow what you already have today!  In so doing, you may find yourself quite content and overflowing with joy; living in excited anticipation of what God has in store for you next.  You just might find that you can be perfectly satisfied in filling your life with less stuff and more of Jesus!

– Teressa Mussler

Attachment-1Nearly 40 years ago I married my college sweetheart and for more than 25 years, Springdale has been our church home.  God has blessed me beyond measure with 2 sons, one granddaughter, and 7 siblings.  I live in a home surrounded by nature.  Some of my favorite things are learning, trying new restaurants, exploring gardens, and playing “Words with Friends”.  And one thing I know for sure is: I would be lost without Jesus!
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