“Cutting to the Chase” Meditations 14: Contentment
Prov 17:1 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.
We have been working our way through a series of thoughts, first about how great God is, then about us being known by God, then by the fact that, as believers, we are told that God saw us before the creation of the world, He knew we would respond in time-space history to the call of His Spirit and be reborn and become (outwardly) His children with a plan and purpose over their lives.
Now one of the biggest problems that Israel faced throughout Old Testament history was that they got distracted from the incredible calling (to reveal God to the watching world) by the antics of their neighbors who were, without exception, pagan idol-worshippers. The thing about these neighbors was that they ‘worshipped’ these idols that they could see and control. Israel couldn’t see their God (or control Him) and so again and again wanted to become more like their neighbors with a focus of their lives that they could see. They didn’t like being people of faith and when it came to obeying the Law they had been given they were happy to focus on rules but forgot the ruler-giver.
Now our starter verse today may leave you wondering, “What has this got to do with going to the heart of the Faith, this ‘cutting to the chase’? It’s all about contentment. The apostle Paul was able to write, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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.” (Phil 4:11,12) The writer to the Hebrews wrote, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ (Heb 13:5)
Now in the previous study about having our minds renewed, we noted [i] without Him we are helpless to change and [ii] we need both His guidance and His enabling to live out these new lives filled with His love and goodness. Even more that [iii] He has goals for us that supersede and go way beyond our own goals and will help us achieve them. Now a dictionary definition of being contented suggests, “feeling that one’s needs or desires have been met,” or, or as a Bible dictionary puts it better, “a gift from God and grows out of having His perspective on life.” I want to ask you, is that how you are left feeling when you read those three points immediately above, which are I believe God’s perspective? If not, it means you really haven’t understood them yet. THAT is the life we have today and if we can’t be content in that, we’ll never be content!