No matter where we are in life, how we got there, or even if we want to be there or not; God know’s where we are, how we got there, and wants to use us there.
Remember, Paul didn’t have a prestigious church building, took a salary, had a closet full of fancy suits, traveled a glorious circuit with everybody patting him on the back telling him what a great preacher he was….. but he was persecuted, beaten, whipped, imprisoned often, left for dead, shipwrecked, hungered and thirsted, left cold and naked……. and still, he was a witness of Jesus everywhere he went. And this is the main part, he was totally content with that.
Paul lived and exhorted for others to be content no matter what state of life they were in, and this still applies even for today, because ultimately God will never leave us or forsake us. But contentment now-a-days seems to take on a whole new meaning. Or sometimes I think it’s almost non-existent. People are consumed with gadgets and things, jobs and hobbies, and God has taken the background. They strive and strive, and still are left empty. They are never content.
God hasn’t called us, the believer, to things so we can be content, He calls us to Himself. If we have everything we want and need, that is definitely a blessing, but those things fade away. There is so much more that we can partake of from God that He blesses us with that nothing in this world compares to. Money can’t buy it, and it’s contentment in Him – His love – provisions – grace – peace – healing – knowing that if all goes wrong around us He is still there with us….. all of this and so much more.
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. Philippians 4:11 – Paul the Apostle
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 1Tim. 6:6-8 – Paul the Apostle
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 – Paul the Apostle
We can have godliness in our lives (and that is awesome beyond words), but add in contentment too and we have a recipe that will carry us through any trail. That no matter where we are in life or what situation we may be facing, as Paul said and as I firmly believe, “godliness with contentment is great gain”. And great just may be a little understated as well.
Elder Steve Smith