Thursday, September 7, 2006


Lately, I've been examining my attitude. Often, I get this awful feeling that can only be diagnosed as a lack of contentment. When I'm feeling discontented, I have made a point of trying to figure out exactly what is making me feel that way. If I can just force myself to think about what has made me discontented, I am almost always shocked at how minor the "problem" really is.

I have to be so careful that my attitude doesn't change everytime my circumstances change. When I'm feeling discontented, I find that the best cure is prayer. I pray that the Lord would keep my attitude pleasing to Him, and that I wouldn't be so imbalanced and selfish that I get waves of discontentment every time things don't go my way.

Another thing that the Lord uses to renew a good attitude in me is Scripture. The Bible points out numerous times that our contenement should not be dependent upon our external circumstances. Perhaps the best-known instance of this is from Hebrews 13:5. Paul says,
"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to say that? For a man who was shipwrecked several times, imprisioned on numerous occasions, and consistently persecuted for the cause of Christ, this is quite a statement! Compared to Paul's, our little daily inconveniences are utterly insignificant! What made Paul different? He realized that Christ was all that mattered; his priorities were in the right place. The concepts of Hebrews 13:5-6 were not only thoroughly understood by him, they were also lived by him.
"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."
We never see Paul wishing that his circumstances were different from what God willed for him. He recognized the fact that, with God on his side, he had no reason to not be content. He was satisfied walking in the Lord's will and in His service. The reason for our commanded contentment is given in Hebrews: "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." We ought to be content following the Lord's will for our lives, no matter where it takes us; for we know that He is always, always, with us. We always have access to God, because of Christ's atonement on the cross.
Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

True contentment is brought through our relationship with God through Christ.
Philippians 4:7 ~ And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Psalm 29:11 ~ The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.

Our contentment is dependent upon our priorities. If we have our priorities in the right place - focused on the Lord and our relationship with Him, following His Word - then those little changes in our outward circumstances will not cause us discontentment.

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