Initiated into the Secret Mysteries of Contentment
There is no calamity greater than lavish desires. There is no greater guilt than discontentment. And there is no greater disaster than greed. Of all the worldly passions, lust is the most intense. All other worldly passions seem to follow in its train. Just as a tree, though cut down, can grow again and again if its roots are undamaged and strong, in the same way if the roots of craving are not wholly uprooted sorrows will come again and again.
Grace: the coin of the realm of heaven; power and desire to do God's will and experience His favor
Peace: cessation of hostilities/conflicts from without and within
Having all that you want or could desire
Desiring nothing more than what you have
Having no unmet needs or desires
Being satisfied with what you have
Freedom from covetousness and the love of money
Having what you need to experience a sense of well-being
A lack of conflict between our experience and perception of what is necessary for our well-being
Being independent upon outside circumstances for our inner peace
Sources of Discontent: desires raised to needs, comparison, greed, covetousness, envy, poor self-esteem/insecurity, lust, love of money, Satan
Commit to Christlike Obedience so Christ can strengthen (Phil 4:13) and give peace. (God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. The humble don't demand nor insist on anything. They assert no rights.)
Ps 84:11 Lord God is a sun & shield: the Lord will give grace & glory: no good will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
Isa 48:18 If you had listened to my commandments! then...thy peace been as a river, & thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:
Joh 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in me ye may have peace...
Ps 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
1Pe 3:8-11 Let him turn away from evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord [are] over the righteous, and his ears [are open] to their prayers: but the face of the Lord [is] against them that do evil.
Php 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, received, heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Occupy yourself with One consuming passion/objective; everything else becomes immaterial; make that passion something that's accessible, intransitory, and eternal: Serving/glorifying God...mastering His word...making disciples; squander your life on a worthy purpose
Need only what is Necessary. Diminish the fire of desire; don't add more fuel to the flame. Enjoy the simple pleasures; don't develop a taste for truffles (not the chocolate kind) nor morels. Exalt in the everyday blessings.
Ec 5:10 He that loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loves abundance with increase: this [is] also vanity.
Anything beyond food and clothing is a bonus 1Ti 6:8 And having food and raiment with these let us be content.
Transform your Desires from the earthly to the ethereal, from the carnal to spiritual, into God's desires (if we want what He wants to give us or what He wants, then it's a done deal)[closing might take a little longer than we'd like].
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.
Express needs and desires to God and Evaluate them through the grid of His perfect will Phil 4:7-8 Ps 23:1 The LORD [is] my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the waters of quietness
Notice the chisel of God in the circumstances in your life I Cor 4 temporary trials produce an eternal weight of glory
2Co 12:9 And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Number your blessings (which is not considering how much better your situation is than others, for they too must have a shot at contentment...to whom will they compare themselves?)
Trust that God will supply all your needs in His perfect timing, so you don't have to worry about how to gratify your needs and desires Heb 13:5 [Let your] manner of life [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Mt 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that ye have need of all these things.
Php 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, [with that] to be content. 12 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.
Questions for Discussion/Reflection/Response:
1. Is discontent the dynamo of human progress or the design of the devil?
2. When did you become satisfied with your: outward/inward appearance, job, dwelling, bank account, schedule, social life?
3. List some signs of discontent. Is the desire for contentment a sign of discontent? Can contentment co-exist with a desire for change or something different?
4. In what areas is contentment most difficult in our culture? Why?
5. What's your most beneficial response to not getting what you want?