Greetings precious people, I hope you are doing well. Before we get into todayís article I would like to encourage you to write or call and let us know if there is a particular subject or topic that you would like to see addressed here in this column. Also, if there is a need that you have that we may pray for, please let us know. There are a number of dedicated people here that would like very much to intercede on your behalf.
In todayís article I would like to address a subject that everyone desires to experience, but for most, it is as elusive as the wind. The subject is contentment. Let me start by asking you, "Are you content?" Before you answer that letís make sure we understand what it means to be content. Noah Webster, of Websterís Dictionary gives it this definition: happy enough with what one has or is; not desiring something more or different; satisfied.
It is amazing to me that with all that we have in this country and all that we are capable of doing and going, that so few people are content and satisfied. Mick Jagger of the famed Rolling Stones sang a song years ago that expresses the hearts of many today. A line from the song, "I canít get no Satisfaction", goes like this, "I canít get no satisfaction, and I try and I try and I try and I try, I canít get no satisfaction." Try, try as we may, we too end up singing this tune after many attempts at finding contentment.
We just concluded a two part series on money. Many people are under the false assumption that if they just had a little more money, they would find contentment. It does not matter how much money a person may have; it will never buy contentment. Others look for contentment and satisfaction in relationships, only to be sorely disappointed. Still others look for contentment in position, fame, title, advancement, and other avenues only to find that they too can never deliver.
King Solomon, the richest and wisest man that has ever lived pursued every avenue known to man in trying to find contentment and satisfaction in life. After years of pursuits, he came to the conclusion of "Vanity, Vanity, all is Vanity." What a tragic waste of years, only to come to such a depressing conclusion. The only thing more depressing is to never come to this realization. At least Solomon came to realize the futility of all his worldly pursuits, and then found the One who could give contentment and satisfaction of soul.
Listen to what God has to say through the Prophet Isaiah. In Isaiah 55:1-7, "Ho! Everyone who thirsts (longs for contentment and satisfaction of soul), come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come; buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me.Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you--The sure mercies of David. Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people, A leader and commander for the people. Surely you shall call a nation you do not know, And nations who do not know you shall run to you, Because of the LORD your God, And the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you." Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon."
Let me ask you the same question that God asked His people through Isaiah the Prophet, "Are you spending your money and time on that which does not and cannot satisfy? Are you listening to what the world tells us will bring satisfaction and contentment to our lives?" The world and its system have no clue what will bring satisfaction to the soul of man.
God knows what will satisfy the soul, He is the one that created you and I. Therefore, He knows what is needed to bring satisfaction and contentment to our soul. Look at he following verses. In Psalm 107:8-9, "Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness." Psalm 145:14-19, "The LORD upholds all who fall, And raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all His ways,
Gracious in all His works. The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them." Isaiah 58:11, "The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail."
You may be wondering how it is that God satisfies the soul, what does He give to bring contentment to your life. The answer is found in Godís Word, the Bible. In Hebrews 13:5-6, "Let your conduct (way of living) be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself (Jesus Christ) has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?"
Did you catch that? The reason the author of Hebrews gives for our contentment is the promise that God gives, He (Jesus) will be with us. In being with us, He will take care of us, our every need. He has promised to do exceedingly above all that we ask or think. God is faithful; He will do exactly what He has said He will do. Jesus has promised to be our all and all. Is that for you today? Are you looking to Him and trusting Him to satisfy your life and bring contentment to your heart? If not you will never know contentment.
Contentment is not something that comes naturally; it is something that is learned. Learned by the experiences of life and the faithfulness of God. The Apostle Paul had many things to say about contentment. In his letter to the church at Philipi, which he wrote while in prison, possibly awaiting death. In Philippians 4:11-13, "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
A mark of true contentment is being satisfied with not only the things that you do have, but also with the things that you donít have. Are you satisfied with what you do have and what you do not have? The only way to know this contentment is to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Is He that to you today? If not, He will be, at your invitation. Repent of your sins and turn to Jesus and invite Him to come into your life to be your Lord and Savior.
Until next time, may the Lord richly bless you beloved.
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail email@example.com
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine