Oh how the soul wrestles with discontent! ! ! The discontented person never has enough money, enough time, enough space, enough relationships, enough power, enough quiet, enough entertainment, enough happiness or enough of ANTHING! ! ! There’s a constant roaming of their soul as they look into the future waiting, longing for something that will make them happy – whether it is some possession, event or person.
The definition of 'contentment' is: happiness with one's situation in life. That means I’m happy, right now, regardless of what I don’t have or what hasn’t happened yet. It is a state of peace and joy which is the result of that happiness in the present moment.
Contentment is not a superficial emotion. It runs deep and constant. A person can be content even when circumstances are less than ideal – not perfect, or ‘complete’ by one’s own estimations or desires. Contentment is focusing on the present, not on the future. It is focusing on the abundance of resources I have at my disposal, not on the lack of them! Contentment is finding joy in the moment – seeing God, in the here and now, in the midst of the process I am in on my way to meeting my goals.
How do we learn to be content? It helps to understand and desire the results of having a contented heart. The results are an absence of struggling, disappointment, pressure and unrest in the soul that comes when we are always wanting something else. The contented heart radiates with peace and joy knowing that God is in loving control and that He has and will continue to meet all our needs. People can’t help but be captivated by the person whose heart is contented.
To cultivate a contented heart, we can begin by being thankful for what we have at any given moment! Take time, everyday, to thank God for everything you have. I may not have all I want or all that I think I need at the moment, but OH THE JOY of having all that I DO have! My circumstances may not be all that I want them to be, right now, but THERE IS SO MUCH in my’ here and now’ that I can really be thankful for! Second, we can exercise patience! We are encouraged in Colossians to, “Clothe yourselves therefore, as God's own chosen ones … by putting on behavior marked by… patience (which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper.)” Patience and contentment go hand in hand!
Let me encourage you to learn, by exercise, how to arrest your heart and bring it to a place of quiet, restful patience and contentment, and begin to enjoy the fullness of life that is already there for you to enjoy! ! !