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Spiritual Growth

How to Be Content in EVERY Circumstance 

Be content with what you have. 

We’ve all heard the saying. We all know we should do this. And while it seems so simple . . . it can be really hard to do.  

There are many things that can cause us to feel discontent. 

The political climate. The state of the economy. The difficult job we are stuck in.  

The friends who betray us. The loved ones who walk away from us. The kids who drive us crazy. 

The body that betrays us. The pain that won’t go away. The medical diagnosis we were given. 

Many times, we have good reasons to be discontent with our lot in life.  

And yet, if we’re honest, it isn’t just the bad times that make us feel discontent.  

Sometimes we feel most discontent. . . when we have gotten everything we’ve prayed for.  

We may have prayed for a husband. And now we are married . . . and we wish he was more ___________.  

We may have prayed for children. And God blessed us with beautiful kids. That fight. Argue with us. And are disrespectful.

And we find ourselves wishing our kids were more like ___________.  

Having too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.  

Just like too much sugar can lead to weight gain. Or too much sunshine can lead to sunburn.  

Sometimes it is the good things in life that cause us to be discontent. To long for something more.  

But discontentment doesn’t feel good.  

It doesn’t lead us to a good place.  

So, how can we learn to be content in both the good times and the bad? In EVERY circumstance?

Contentment Meaning in The Bible

Contentment means to live out of quiet confidence in God.  

Knowing He is who He says He is.  

And He can do what He says He can do. 

Contentment is a state of peaceful happiness. An inner sense of joy despite our circumstances.  

The blessing of contentment is having a settled spirit. Being okay with who you are and where you are in life.  

Contentment is best explained in the Bible by Paul in Philippians 4:11-13. 

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”  

-Philippians 4:11-13 NLT

Paul discovered the benefits of being content.  

He had an inner sense of peace and joy.

Even though many of the things he went through could have easily made him discontent, frustrated, or afraid . . . he chose to live out of his confident trust in God.  

Because he knew whether times were going well and he had a lot. Or times were not good and he had little . . . he could be content either way. 

Because he had Jesus. 

And Jesus was all he needed.  

Woman lifting up her hands in praise at a worship event and the words, "The truth is . . . Jesus is all we really need. (Phil. 4:11-13)"

Lack of contentment in the Bible

The importance of contentment can be seen if we take a look at what happens when we are DISCONTENT. 

Because a lack of contentment leads to worry, negativity, and feelings of anxiousness and stress.  

Which can lead to us trying to take matters into our own hands. Or making drastic decisions we may later regret.  

Discontentment comes from a lack of trust. 

So, how do we learn to trust God so we can let go of our fears, worries, and discontentment? 

Well, you can’t trust someone you don’t know!

If you want to grow in your faith, and let go of your discontentment . . . you have to spend time with God.  

You have to take the time to get to know Him through: 

  • Scripture reading and memorization. (Read God’s Word every day.) 
  • Christian Meditation. (Taking a verse or two and spending time thinking about its meaning while praying to God about it.) 
  • Prayer and quiet contemplation. (Sitting still and listening to God – remember prayer is supposed to be a conversation . . . with the One who loves you without reservation!) 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”

-Proverbs 3:5 NLT
Flowers in the shape of a heart and the verse, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart." -Proverbs 3:5 NLT

What is the key to contentment?

The key to contentment is to focus on Jesus. To remember who we are in Him. And the reason we are here.  

We aren’t on this Earth to serve our own purposes. But to serve the One who created us and sent His only Son to save us.  

As we follow His lead, we learn these 7 important things that help us learn how to be content.  

1) Contentment takes time.

Being content isn’t something that comes naturally. It’s something the Holy Spirit grows in us over time.  

It’s something we have to practice. To be intentional about.  

It’s not quick and easy. But rather slow and steady. 

So, be content with the process! 

(Yes, pun intended.)

2) Contentment comes when we keep in mind what’s on our mind.

What are we thinking about? What are we focusing on? Dwelling on?  

The things we focus on affect us.  

If we are constantly thinking of negative things.  

Everything that is going wrong. All that needs attending to. What needs to be fixed. How far we need to go . . . then it becomes easy to feel negative about life. 

But if we choose to focus on the good things.  

Like taking the time every day to count our blessings. To praise God for all He has given us.  

To make a BIG deal out of all the GOOD things in our life . . . then it is a lot easier to be upbeat and content.  

Give all your worries and cares to God. And then choose to focus on the GOOD things . . . and praise Him for them! 

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”

-1 Peter 5:6-7 NLT
A heart drawn in the sand with the verse, "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." -1 Peter 5:6-7 NLT

3) Contentment comes when we remember the word “YET”.

Being content with our situation doesn’t mean we never try to improve things. 

Rather it means we are okay with where we are in life right now, while still working towards a brighter future.  

It’s more of a settled feeling that comes with the realization that life is a very long journey.  

So, it’s okay if we aren’t where we want to be YET. 

4) Contentment comes from The Holy Spirit who empowers us.

Left to our own fleshly desires, we often end up moving towards discontentment and frustration.  

This is why we need the Holy Spirit to empower us to be content. 

Because of Jesus, the Holy Spirit lives in us and gives us the strength to do things our flesh doesn’t naturally do.  

Like being content.  

God is the only One who can help us deal with the hard things we are going through.  

He is the One who gives us the strength we need (Phil. 4:13) when we feel weak (2 Cor. 12:9).  

As we abide in Jesus. As we spend time with God and allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through us.  

He shows us how to be content with what we have. No matter our circumstances.   

He gives us the grace we need for today. To handle whatever may come our way.  

A messy desk with papers, books, and cups. And the words, "Our joy comes from the Lord. Not our circumstances."

5) Contentment is not found in our circumstances. It’s found in God.

We learn contentment when we realize it comes not from our confidence in what is happening around us . . . but rather our confidence in God.  

He is the Almighty, unchanging God who is in control of EVERYTHING.  

He is the source of our hope, joy, and peace.  

Not our current situation.  

Clouds with sunset colors above them and the words, "He is the Almighty, unchanging God who is in control of everything."

6) Contentment comes when we remember who we are in Him.

When we remember who He is. And who we are in Him . . . that we are His DEARLY BELOVED CHILDREN. 

It becomes a lot easier to be content.  

Because we know He passionately loves us. (1 John 4:10)

And has good plans for us. (Jer. 29:11) 

God knows what He is doing.  

Even when things don’t go our way, we know that He can work even the hard things for our good. (Rom. 8:28) 

To teach us to be content. To grow our faith. And to show the world the reason for the hope we have.  

Clouds in the sky at sunset and the words, "God knows what He is doing."

7) Contentment comes as we learn to trust God.

We don’t need to understand the “why” in order to trust God.  

After all, our children often don’t understand the “why” behind our decisions.  

From why we won’t let them run into the road when they are two. To why we won’t let them go for a walk alone at night as a teenager.  

But they can learn to trust that we love them. And know what is best for them.  

It takes time. (Often many years.) 

But eventually, as adults themselves, many kids finally realize that their parents really did know what they were doing.  

I wonder if when we get to Heaven someday, God will give us a chance to see all the things He was doing in our life.  

Things we couldn’t see at the time.  

Things that will make us realize . . . that He really did know what He was doing the entire time.  

Woman in a field holding her hands up to her face and looking up. And the words, How to be content in every circumstance"
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What is true contentment?

True contentment comes as we focus on Jesus.  

When Jesus becomes your whole reason for living, everything else pales in comparison.  

It no longer matters what happens to you, because you aren’t living for your comfort or ease.  

You are living for Him.  

Just like the apostle, Paul said: To live is Christ. To die is gain. (Phil. 1:21) 

We can learn how to be content in EVERY circumstance when we put our trust and confidence in God. 

Knowing He gives all good things. He can work even the hard things in our life for good.  

And it will all be worth it in the end when we finally get to see Him! 

Can I get an AMEN!?! 

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And be sure to check out these encouraging reads:

 

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