One of the best definitions of contentment I’ve read is: “an internal satisfaction which does not demand changes in external circumstances”.
The Apostle Paul says contentment is something that can be learned: “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.” Philippians 4:11 NLT
What about you, have you learned to be content? Have you found true satisfaction in life?
Look to the Lord...God is the true source of contentment in life.
“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need.” Acts 17:24-25 NLT
Find your contentment in Him.
He will satisfy your soul.
“For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” Psalms 107:9 NKJV
“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!...But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.” Psalms 42:5-6, 8 NLT
Don't let the circumstances that you may find yourself in rob you of your joy. Joy is an emotion born from within while happiness is an emotion in response to external circumstances. So, maintain your joy by remembering...
...your hope is in God not things going on around you.
...to praise the Lord even in the difficult days.
...your circumstances don't change the fact that God is pouring out His unfailing love on you.
...to sing His songs as an outward expression of the joy within you.
...to pray to God who gives you life.
However, in those times where you can't seem to tap into your own joy remember: “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” John 15:11 NLT
Be filled with His joy.
“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” Psalms 55:22 NLT
Are you carrying a burden to heavy to bear?
Is there something in your life that is overwhelming you?
Do you need someone to come alongside you to help?
Jesus is waiting...wanting to help. He says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
What is keeping you from turning to Him?
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
(Helen H. Lemmel, 1922)
Let Jesus be your burden bearer today.
As children we used to play a game called follow the leader. Someone was chosen to lead; everyone else followed and mimicked the actions of the leader as he or she led the way.
God led the children of Israel out of Egypt and gave them specific instructions to follow on their journey. He knew the way and the ultimate destination.
Moses and the children of Israel sang a song of deliverance that had this reminder in the song: “With your unfailing love you lead the people you have redeemed. In your might, you guide them to your sacred home.” Exodus 15:13 NLT
Life is a journey, and I believe there is truth found in this verse of scripture that we can apply to our own lives. As believers in Jesus Christ, we are called to follow Him...mimic His behavior...trust Him to lead us home - Not only because He knows the way but because He is the way. “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NLT
Be certain of who you're following and where you're headed on your life's journey.
“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 NLT
This has been the blessing of my life. I am truly a blessed man.
Throughout my life God has blessed me through my family...immediate family...extended family...church family. He has blessed me with friends through every season of my life who have both impacted, influenced and helped me become who I am today.
However, the greatest blessing of all has been God's favor...His grace. There is no greater blessing than to have the face of God shine on you...be gracious to you...smile on you...give you peace.
As a believer in Jesus Christ you too have experienced God's favor...His grace...His smile.
Now walk in His peace.
Be blessed by His smile.
“I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.” Psalms 9:1-2 NLT
You and I will face a myriad of choices throughout this day. Why not make some predetermined choices now based on the word of God that will enhance your day and influence every other choice you will make.
In the verse of scripture above there are four things worth choosing to do today.
I choose to praise you, Lord, with all my heart. “With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever,” Psalms 86:12 NLT
I choose to tell of all the marvelous things you have done. “Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me.” Psalms 66:16 NLT
I choose to be filled with joy because of you. “But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!” Psalms 40:16 NLT
I choose to sing praises to your name, O Most High. “Sing to the Lord; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.” Psalms 96:2 NLT
Declare it and do it.
What are you choosing to do today?
“Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mount Zion; they will not be defeated but will endure forever.” Psalms 125:1 NLT
Remember these truths...
I am secure because…
...I am free from condemnation ~ Romans 8:1-2 “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”
...I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances ~ Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
...I cannot be separated from the love of God ~ Romans 8:31-39 “What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
...I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me ~ Philippians 1:6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
...I am a citizen of Heaven ~ Philippians 3:20 “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.”
...I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me ~ 1 John 5:18 “We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them.”
Live confidently secure in who you are and whose you are.
As a believer and follower of Jesus Christ remind yourself today that God has accepted you.
I am accepted because…
…I am God’s child ~ John 1:12 “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.”
…I have been justified ~ Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.”
…I have been bought with a price, and I belong to God ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”
…I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child ~ Ephesians 1:3-8 “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.”
…I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins ~ Colossians 1:13-14 “For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.”
…I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ ~ Hebrews 4:14-16 “So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
Live today based on who you and whose you are.
“Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.” Proverbs 1:23 NLT
Often times we don't hear what is being said because we are not listening or we are too busy formulating our response. We listen without hearing. Our thoughts seem to wander off to other things. We can't seem to focus. Perhaps we simply don't recognize the voice of who's speaking. “For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it.” Job 33:14 NLT
God is a talker. I believe God is talking all the time. His Word is alive, and He speaks whenever we take time to hear from Him.
Are you listening? What do you hear? Is it instruction...guidance... or directions? Do you hear expressions of love...encouragement...or maybe correction?
God is speaking to you...“Hear the word that the Lord speaks to you, O Israel!” Jeremiah 10:1 NLT
“For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does.” Psalms 33:4 NLT
“You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9 NLT
That as believers in Jesus Christ we love and trust someone we have never seen makes no sense to the world. We read about Him...we talk about Him...we try and model His life...we even talk to Him. Yet, we have never seen Him. It's all kind of incredible when you realize you have a connection with someone who has literally changed your life and you've never laid eyes on Him.
The truth is we do see Him. We see him through the eyes of our hearts...the eyes of faith. “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” Hebrews 11:1-3 NLT
Experience the glorious, inexpressible joy of walking by faith and not by sight, all because you love Him and trust Him.