The Secret to Contentment


My husband and I returned last week from a 12 day survey trip to the city and country where God has called us to serve as full-time missionaries.  We have been in “prefield ministry” or what used to be called “deputation” for two years now and it has been a slow, arduous process.  Getting to glimpse what life and ministry will be like on the field was wonderful…but I’m finding myself much more discontented now that I have returned.

Being the good Christian girl that I am, however, I know that God wants me to be content in my circumstances.  But finding the balance between being content here and staying motivated for getting there has been a bit tricky. Maybe you can relate?  Is there something that God has called you to but you are not quite there yet?  Meanwhile, you know He wants you to be content in the season of life in which He has you?

Paul talks a lot about having peace and contentment in the book of Philippians.  I found myself studying his progression of thought in chapter four where he begins by talking about having peace with others, then yourself, then your circumstances.  He urges us to “rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice!” in verse 4.  Then we are to “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God” so that His peace that passes all human comprehension will “guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” in verses 6-7.  He even tells us what to dwell on mentally so that we can have that peace within ourselves in verse 8:  whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent, and praiseworthy.

But finally, in verse 12, Paul tells us that he has found the secret for contentment.  Whether he is living in prosperity or humility, satisfied or hungry, having abundance or suffering need, he has learned the secret.  What is it?  I believe it is found in verse 13:

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

The secret is Jesus Christ.  Living moment by moment for Him.  Keeping our eyes on the Author and Finisher of our faith.  Not allowing ourselves to be caught up in the “Why’s” but rather “How can and will Christ receive the glory in this season and circumstance?”

Finding contentment in this world that is not our home is a balancing act.  It is easy to fail.  But we are not alone.  Jesus is there, giving us strength.  We can do it…together.


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