A few days ago I found myself feeling discouraged and overwhelmed. It’s likely you’ve been there too at some time during the past few weeks. So many changes in a short time coupled with losses and uncertainty about the future…it’s enough to dampen even the most optimistic spirits. But this time of struggle and stress is also a beautiful environment in which to grow a heart that is content.
Paul said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4;11) And I want to be able to claim that too! An old time Puritan minister named Jeremiah Burroughs wrote a book called The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. Contentment certainly is in short supply…even among those who follow Christ.
Here are a few truths that God has been showing me about cultivating contentment in my life:
- It begins with the acknowledgement that God is in control.
- It is based on trust in the goodness of who He is.· It requires submission to God’s plans and His timing.
- It goes beyond “putting up with” to “taking pleasure in” God’s plan.
- It does this in every circumstance because of the confidence that God is the redeemer who takes what is evil and makes it work for good.
And here are some things that I’m learning that contentment is not:
- It’s not about downplaying pain or hiding it from God or others.
- It’s not refusing to seek help or relief from a trial.
1 Timothy 6:6-7 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it.” I pray that you are being enriched with the precious jewel of contentment as we walk through hard days!
Heidi Gilboy is one of our Alongside Coaches. We love to sit in groups with her because she “drips wisdom” and is able to speak right to the heart of a struggle with the hope found only in Jesus. She is married to Jeff and they have eight children (#8 is on the way!). They serve at The Way Church in Aurora, CO.