Each phase of life is different, with its own challenges but also its own rewards. The way to contentment is to trust God’s purposes in our present circumstances. For many of us, there’s major uncertainty about where we will be or what we will be doing a few months from now or even tomorrow.
Contentment must be learned. God is our teacher and source of contentment: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13).
Paul wrote this from jail, and that he could say he was content in unjust imprisonment and without many material goods tells you something about his trust in the all-powerful God who was his source of strength.
Scottish theologian Sinclair Ferguson writes, “Christian contentment…is the direct fruit of having no higher ambition than to belong to the Lord and to be totally at His disposal in the place He appoints, at the time He chooses, with the provision He is pleased to make.”
When my wife Nanci was going through cancer treatments last year, we had to purposely look to King Jesus for contentment. In some moments we felt 100% content. Then in other moments we were fortunate to feel 50%, if that. But regardless of what I feel in any moment, or what you feel, God is 100% in control, trustworthy, and loving.
May we trust Him and be content with what He’s doing, even when we don’t know what that is. That’s faith.
“The righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).
“We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Browse more resources on the topic of trials and suffering, and see Randy’s related books, including If God Is Good.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.