We have all had many opportunities during COVID, to learn how to be content in less-than-ideal circumstances.
1. Paul learned to be content in good times and bad.
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned to be content: “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Every where and in all things, I have learned both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:11)
Paul's secret was:
- Stay focused on Christ. “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21)
- Believe everything has a purpose. “All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28)
- Believe God has a way to give you victory. “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 15:57)
2. Contentment takes faith!
This means taking your present situation - whatever obstacle you are facing, whatever limitations you are living with, whatever chronic condition wears you down, whatever has smashed your dreams, whatever circumstances in life tend to push you under - and saying in the middle of it, “I don't like it, but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”
3. Contentment is not getting what you want, it’s enjoying what you have!
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (I Tim 6:6-10) Money is not the root of all evil! It is the love of money or having a wrong relationship with money and material things, that is the root of all evil.
(Psalm 35:27) “Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favor His righteous cause; and let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His saints.””
4. Divine Discontent produces positive action!
At eighty-five years of age Caleb said, “Give me this mountain - the one you promised me 45 years ago!” (Josh 14:12) There’s a big difference between being constructively discontent and just being critical. And many people mistake a Constructive Spirit of Divine Discontent for criticism. If somebody says, “There’s got to be a better way to do this”, then I can see if they have leadership potential simply by asking, “Have you ever thought about what that better way might be?” If he says no, he is just being critical, not constructive. But if he says yes, he shows me he’s being challenged by a constructive spirit of discontent. That’s what I call Divine Discontent, and all real leaders have it.
Yours for Contentment and Divine Discontent both in their place!
Dr. George Hill,
President and Founder, VCI