Often when we think of contentment, we can sometimes picture ourselves at a place where we have all we need. A place where we have no troubles or worries. A place of success, good health and financial stability. All of these things are desirable and can bring a sense of happiness and satisfaction. However, true contentment is a state of mind, it is a satisfaction of the soul that transcends material possession, good health or the absence of trouble.
We can sometimes misperceive contentment as a comparison exercise, where we find a sense of happiness in knowing that someone else is worse off than us. If we can convince ourselves that we are somewhat better off than others, we can then say to ourselves, ‘be content’. But in truth, you can even find contentment in a mud hut in one of the poorest places in the world. It can be found in the heart of the street sweeper, a slave working in the field and even on the face of someone on their death bed. This is the Christian contentment that is rooted in Christ Jesus.
In understanding this contentment, Apostle Paul said, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13).
The Christian’s source of contentment is through Christ. In Him, a measure of eternity’s peace and joy are made present to us in all circumstances. It is this contentment that can say, “it is well with my soul”, even when things look bleak. In the context of the passage, Paul says he “can do all things through him [Christ] who strengthens” him, not necessarily because he needed more grace for the work at hand, but specifically because Christ is his source of contentment.
May you find your contentment and Shalom (wholesome peace) in the Lord Jesus Christ today.