A man once went to a minister for counseling. He was in the midst of a financial collapse. “I’ve lost everything,” he bemoaned. “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve lost your faith.’ “No,” the man corrected him, “I haven’t lost my faith.” “Well, then I’m sad to hear that you’ve lost your character.” “I didn’t say that,” he corrected. “I still have my character.” “I’m sorry to hear that you’ve lost your salvation.” “That’s not what I said,” the man objected. “I haven’t lost my salvation.” “You have your faith, your character, your salvation. Seems to me,” the minister observed, “that you’ve lost none of the things that really matter.”
Your faith, your character and your salvation are of utmost importance but there is something else that matters just as much in this life and that is to find the secret of being happy and satisfied; free from worry or restlessness. That secret, my friends, is called contentment. Contentment comes when we can honestly say with the apostle Paul, “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (Phil. 4:12). Contentment is learned. It isn’t natural. We’re not born with it. It is not a gift. We tend to look for things that will make us content – a new partner, a new house, a new car or a new job rather than putting forth the effort it takes to learn how to be content in the present with what we already have. Contentment isn’t denying our feelings about want and desire, but instead it provides a freedom from being controlled by those feelings. Contentment is the peace that comes from knowing that God is bigger than our problems and that He works them all out for our good. When we are content we have joy in spite of our circumstances because our joy is not based on anything external but rather on the contentment of our heart.
Do you know the secret? It all comes down to two things – your focus and your trust. If your trust and focus are both on your own abilities and the things you possess, then you will never ever be content. If your focus and trust is in Almighty God, He will give you the strength to be content regardless of the circumstances you are in. What about you? Are you someone who struggles with contentment? Have you been looking for contentment in all the wrong places? “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt 6:33).