Often when we think of contentment, we can sometimes picture ourselves in a season in life where we have all we need. A season where we have no troubles or worries. A season 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 may sometimes seek to perceive contentment by comparing ourselves to others, 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 them, then we can say to ourselves, ‘be content’.
In truth however, contentment can be found 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 mum with a baby who has had no sleep, 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 in this contentment that one 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 [Christ] who strengthens” him, not necessarily because he needed more grace for the work at hand, but specifically because Christ is his source of that contentment.
May you find your contentment and Shalom (wholesome peace) in the Lord Jesus Christ today.