There have been so many different seasons of my life when I’ve had to *FIGHT* for contentment.
- 7-months-pregnant in a grimy, coal-heated, 80’s-era-floral-couched, bugged (not the insect kind) apartment in China
- Months later, when my husband got gravely sick, and we went YEARS with tons of investigation but no medical answers or reasons what had happened
- Living across the world from my extended family, in a (different) cement-and pollution-covered city that I (initially) did not like, surrounded by people I could not speak to, with 4 kids 6 and under in a small apartment without A/C
- When (back in the US, just a few months ago) my husband lost his job which was connected to our church and community, and we suddenly felt alone and heartbroken
Here are some verses that have been heart-strengthening in those moments when I had to FIGHT to have joy in the midst of great discouragement:
- “Lord, You have assigned me my portion and my cup; You have made my lot secure.” ~Psalm 16:5
- “God is the Blessed Controller of all things, the King over all kings, and the Master of all masters.” ~1 Timothy 6:15
- “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” ~Proverbs 17:23
- “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” ~2 Corinthians 12:10
- “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” ~Philippians 4:11
- “There is great gain in godliness with contentment.” ~1 Timothy 6:6
- “If we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” ~1 Timothy 6:8
- “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” ~Hebrews 13:5
These are the comfort-imparting things I see in those verses:
- God sees my state and it has not surprised Him. HE is where my security rests, not in stuff, not in ME.
- God is sovereign. Over everything and everyone. Always.
- Opt for joy. Sorrow and discontentment will dry me up and burn me out.
- Because of Christ, I can be content in the midst of crummy things. My weakness will ultimately lead me to find refuge in the only One Who is strong. When I finally come to the end of myself, THAT is when strength from God will supply the places that I so obviously LACK.
- Contentment is something I must *learn*. That learning can happen in ANY situation.
- It is GAIN to me if I seek godliness alongside contentment.
- Food and clothing are my needs. (Other things are wants.) I need to choose to be content with the way God has already met my needs.
- “What I have” is enough; I need to choose to be content with it. I’ve got to keep my eyes off of money and get them onto the ONE Who will never leave me or forsake me. In the way my heart grasps for something eternal on which I can depend, money will never satisfy: only God is dependable.
How is God growing you in contentment right now?
- What verse(s) would you add to this list?
- What lessons has He taught (or is He teaching) you about contentment in the midst of hard things?
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