Sunday, September 18, 2011

Contentment: The Heart God Fills

During my quiet time the other day, I was simply given one word.


I looked it up in the little concordance at the back of my Bible.  Honestly, I was surprised at how the verses I found spoke to my heart and tied together a lot of things the Lord has been teaching me recently... I was amazed at just how strong and true and pure and right these things are as I begin to realize their fullness.  This contentment that Jesus talked about transcends all the pale, thin counterfeits seen by the imagination or drawn up by the words of men.

This contentment is not the pleasure of being surrounded by beautiful things, being filled by a warm meal, or being held by human arms; nor is it the state of simply being resigned to one's lot.  How could I describe what this contentment is if my listener does not know the Spirit who grants it?  It cannot be born without the stripping away of every other desire, every other thing from which we seek satisfaction.

Contentment means to cease chasing after the wind and at last drink from the Fount.  Contentment means to leave all else behind and follow the Master.  Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11-13, "I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."  The satisfaction Paul spoke of had nothing whatsoever to do with his circumstances, but with Christ who gives strength and hope.  Whether we are filled or hungry, we can be satisfied by the Bread of Life.

After moving to a different church several years ago, and being distanced from many of my closest friends, God began to teach me these things in a practical way.  I had never realized just how much my dependence was on friendships until that time. I experienced times of loneliness and times when I battled with feeling accepted.  There came a point when I realized that God was using these things I was going through to bring me to a deeper dependence and a greater intimacy with Him.  As I expressed to Him my longings for a confidante, I began to experience what it truly means for God himself to be my friend and to find peace in surrender to His will.  Since that time, the Lord has brought many dear friends into my life who love the Savior and have been a great encouragement to me, but I pray that I will remember the lesson He taught me in that season.  I love John Piper's quote: "This is God's universal purpose for all Christian suffering: more contentment in God and less satisfaction in the world."

My prayer is that I will be able to face every joy and trial with the knowledge that Christ is my strength, to surrender every thought and circumstance to Him, knowing that He "causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Rom 8:28)  Contentment is not merely a state of the mind, but of the heart.  God fills the heart that has been emptied.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so encouraged by your story and truly, God is moving in your life. you're so right, God is the only one who can satisfy our needs and desires.
    May you always keep on posting such an inspiring post like this. God bless you more.

    Keep inspiring. :)

    in Christ,
    Lhen :)