“To love God is to love His will. It is to be content with His timing and wise appointment.” -Elisabeth Elliot
Contentment in Christ begins with one thing: LOVE. When we have a love for God, it makes it so much easier to be content in Him.
Contentment in Timing/Waiting:
This is the kind of contentment that can be the hardest (especially for teenagers and young adults). When we are waiting for something in life, it’s hard! Patience isn’t something we always have, however, in times of waiting it’s key, and is commanded:
“But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)” Romans 8:25
“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” Psalms 27:14
There’s nothing wrong be looking forward to something or the next phase of your life, but don’t let it consume you and make you discontent. Some things to remember in times of waiting or waiting on God’s (perfect) timing:
1. God is in control!
2. He has a plan!
3. Rushing God’s plan/timing doesn’t help anything.
4. There’s a purpose in waiting.
Check out this quote from C.S. Lewis:
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Contentment When God Says, “No”
God always answers our prayers…however He doesn’t always answer the way we want Him to. There are times in life when God will say no to us. But we shouldn’t be discouraged or discontent because God’s “no” is not a rejection, it’s a redirection! We don’t usually understand why God says no to us however, “When God gives you a ‘No’, give Him a ‘thank you’. He was protecting you from less than His best.” That is a hard, but true statement. We have to realize that we are human, we don’t have the knowledge and wisdom God has. We must accept and be content with the fact that God knows more than us.
Contentment During Trials:
This is the most difficult kind of contentment for me personally. When I’m going through stuff, I want to be content with God, but it’s hard. I get mad, but in the end I still want to please and honor God with my life. According to Bethany Baird, “A desire to please God says, ‘God, I will choose to serve you and praise you whether or not my circumstances ever change.'” That is a really really difficult thing to say and mean. What if your tough situation never changes? Could you truly be content with that? This is where prayer and a desire for the Lord is important. Philippians 4:11 says, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
Paul is not saying that you have to LIKE the situation you are in. What he is saying is that we should be content with where God has put us and serve Him to the best of our ability in that situation.
Contentment is a daily struggle, one which can’t be done without a relationship with God. I encourage you to get into the word of God and find stories and verses that help you during times of discontentment.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
1 Timothy 6:6