Merry Christmas everyone!! I pray you are all doing well. Today, I thought it would be the most appropriate time to talk about contentment and the real meaning of Christmas. This blog is intended to encourage others to be content with what God has given you, even if you desire something more or different. I want you to know before I get started that God has used this blog as a learning tool in my own life. I cannot even begin to explain how He has used writing this to awaken my eyes and heart to the reality of trusting in Him and being content with what He has given me.
I have personally struggled with this on and off throughout my life, and I need to hear this blog just as much as anyone else. Please, don’t let contentment be solely in regards to Christmas because it should be echoing throughout the entirety of our lives. So, what exactly does it mean to be content? The modern definition is “to be in a state of happiness or satisfaction”. In Hebrew, contentment is defined as “to be pleased”. It seems to me that pleasure or satisfaction are very closely correlated to contentment, so I wanted to also add the definition of satisfaction. It defines as “fulfillment of one’s wishes, expectations, or needs, or the pleasure derived from this.”
Have any of you read about Paul’s life in the Scripture? Throughout the New Testament, his life is recorded for us and described in detail so that we may use it as a learning tool. Philippians 4:10-13 says, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance. 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 want. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I have read this verse over and over, and I often think to myself “How can Paul receive the understanding of contentment while I still struggle with it?”
It has been mentioned throughout the Word that the things of this world are meaningless. They have no ultimate value because we cannot retain them after we die; worldly possessions and pleasures are temporary. And here is where it all ties back to contentment; when we desire something, we will often do whatever we can to obtain it. Have any of you noticed that once you receive what you want, you often still want more? It’s still not the biggest or the best or the perfect one? We cannot be joyfully content without Christ. When we place our joy in the things of this world, we will always be missing something. We will never be truly satisfied because in reality, these things will not last. We ought to place our joy and trust in Christ, whom is everlasting.
Praise God that He is not only patient with us, but also gracious in the way of desiring that we understand what the Word says. When we look at the root of contentment, or lack thereof, we can see that our joy is placed in something or someone. When that something or someone lets us down, is removed from our lives, or we find something else to take its place, we become discontent. Let me tell you something that I am still learning in my life; when we put our source of joy in Christ and we place our dependency in Him, we will be able to find contentment in any circumstance that may come our way.
I do want to emphasize what being discontent really is when we take a look at the condition of the heart. I have noticed that discontentment comes from a lack of trust. A lack of trust that God is in complete control, or that we are missing out on something bigger and better. It leads to worry, distrust and then eventually a heart that is not content. In order to truly overcome our discontent and lack of faith, we must understand who God truly is and how He has faithfully provided and supplied the needs of His children. When people continue to seek after the things of this world and of the flesh, there will never be true satisfaction, and there will always be a craving for more.
Trusting in God does not come naturally to us, especially when we are asked to trust that whatever we have or are enduring is exactly what you need is very difficult. But after if we look back at all the things He has done in our lives, we realize that He is the only one who truly satisfies. He knows what is best for us, even when we cannot see that yet. This beautiful reality alone is enough to bring me contentment and joy in situations, because I know my Lord is in control.
This Christmas season, I pray that we all may find contentment. Not just with physical things, but in every aspect of our lives. If you are doing very well and are finding increased success, or if you are really struggling and things are very difficult, God calls us to be content and trust in Him alone. As human beings, it is very natural for us to desire more, more more. More knowledge, more wisdom, more success, more stability. And it is not wrong to desire growth. But when we place our desires and delight in the Lord, He is faithful to provide and uphold those who love Him.
Is your joy, your contentment, based on the Lord? Is it founded on the Word of God? It is vital for each of us to place our trust in Christ, so that we may be content in all our circumstances. There is nothing wrong with wanting more or wanting gifts for Christmas. But let me mention something that resonates with me every year; rather than worrying about giving or receiving the perfect gift this Christmas, realize that we already received the perfect gift; Christ! He was a gift given to use freely that we did not and could not ever deserve. He became the light of the world so that we may be saved. I really want that to sink in today as we go about our Christmas celebrations.
I pray you all have a very Merry Christmas and that your hearts are filled with the joy we have been given when our Savior was born. Thank you all so much for reading my blog today, and I hope you know how much writing these blogs and receiving feedback from you blesses me and my life. So thank you for the gift of fellowship with one another! Have an amazing Christmas! God bless!