What is contentment?

In the last couple of weeks I had to make a decision to potentially take on some work that would have made quite a big change in our family’s life. The work was exactly in the field that I love to work in, from a monetary perspective it would have made our lives much easier, but because of the amount of time it would require there would also be massive consequences in the way we care for our children and the time that I would be able to spend with them.

What made the decision so much more difficult was that, just a few weeks before, my husband and I have started discussing the potential of me taking on some work that would help us out a bit. What to do? The immediate response was that this could be God’s answer to our questions, but what if it wasn’t?

I started praying to The Lord to bless this situation, to close this door if it is not from Him, and for the first time I asked Him to give me Scripture to make sure what His will for our family is. A couple of days went past and the one morning while doing our devotional time as a family we read Hebrews 13:5-6:

Hebrews 13:5-6

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me? (ESV)

My first response was not that this was the Scripture I was looking for, but rather wondering what the word ‘content’ means in God’s eyes. I found the answer in the first letter that Paul wrote to Timothy 6:6-10. In these verses Paul reminded him that contentment is:

  • To remember that we brought nothing into this world, and we cannot take anything out of this world
  • That food and clothing is enough to be content if we keep the eternal perspective in mind, and
  • That there is nothing wrong to have money, but that there is a risk that money can become so important that it can take away our faith in God alone

My sister says that when God provides you with Scripture it will not necessarily make sense to everyone, but that in your heart you will know. I think I received my message LOUD and CLEAR!

 

I learned from this experience that:

  • The most obvious solutions to our problems are not necessarily from God and that we truly need to ask for discernment and wisdom before we go ahead and take that path ahead of us.
  • We must be very careful that we don’t try and take control back of our lives with the first opportunity that presents itself, and in so doing, run the risk of destroying all the hard work we have done so far in our faith journey.
  • Surrendering to God requires us to trust in Him alone and to know that He will always provide for our needs.
  • God will always give us answers to our questions if we ask and trust in Him. The answer we seek will not always be immediate and it may not necessarily agree with what we had in mind, but it ultimately will be for the best.
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