Philippians 4:11-12 GNT And I am not saying this because I feel neglected, for I have learned to be satisfied with what I have. I know what it is to be in need and what it is to have more than enough. I have learned this secret, so that anywhere, at any time, I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 GNT Be joyful always, pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.
The Apostle Paul, who wrote these words had trained himself to focus on his inner resources, the resources his heart contained, rather than the outward circumstances of his life. He chose to be grateful. He chose to praise God – period. "Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ."
For believers, contentment should be governed by inner attitude and the decisions we make rather than by external circumstances.
Paul understood what it meant to live in Christ and to have Christ living in him. He had made the decision to draw his life from the Lord and, as a result, had the calm assurance that what he possessed inside could never be stolen. He was confident in his identity as a child of God with full access to the abundant life Jesus offers.
The secret of contentment is to learn to enjoy what God has given you.
Ecclesiastes 5:19 GNT If God gives us wealth and property and lets us enjoy them, we should be grateful and enjoy what we have worked for. It is a gift from God.
Pay more attention to what you do have. Open your eyes, appreciate what God has already given you, and enjoy what you’ve got.
Life is not about things. You’ve got to maintain the right perspective about possessions, or you’ll be possessed by your possessions. You’ve got to realize none of it is going to last.
Luke 12:15 GNT And he went on to say to them all, “Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be.”
Never judge your self-worth by your net worth. Never think your value is related to your valuables. Realize that the greatest things in life aren’t things. You didn’t bring anything into the world, and you’re not taking anything out of it. Life is not about acquisition or achievement. Life is about relationship and learning how to love God and other people.
You’ve got a choice to make. The world is telling you that you’ve got to get more to be happier, more successful, more important, more valuable, and more secure. You’ve got to decide if you’re going to listen to Madison Avenue or the Master. Are you going to listen to culture or Christ? Are you going to listen to the world or the Word?
The secret of contentment is finding your security and your satisfaction not in what you have but in whose you are. You find it in Christ.
Psalm 17:15 TLB “But as for me, my contentment is not in wealth but in seeing you and knowing all is well between us. And when I awake in heaven, I will be fully satisfied, for I will see you face-to-face”.
When you learn to be content, you are believing that God knows what you need better than you do and trusting that he will give you the necessary wisdom to make good financial decisions.
Most people get caught into “when” thinking: “When I get this, then I’ll be happy.” When you get a certain job, when you retire, when you get the house paid off, when all the bills are paid—and on and on.
But God knows that if you aren’t content already, you’ll always want something else when you get there. Somebody supposedly once asked billionaire Howard Hughes how much it takes to be happy, and he said, “Just a little more.”
Contentment is not something that comes naturally for anyone. It’s something you have to practice every day. You have to remind yourself that God is taking care of you and will provide everything you need. You have to choose to love and appreciate what you already have.
If you don’t learn contentment, you’ll always want more. But once you learn to be content, you’ll find joy greater than anything on earth could provide.