Contentment is something I long for in my relationship with God. At times I feel like I have it; at others, I feel I’m holding on for dear life. This past year, filled with grief, obstacles, and new challenges left me holding onto the promise of this scripture.
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; (Isaiah 43:1-3a NIV).
All the while, I longed for contentment. Contentment is joyfully, yes joyfully, living within my current circumstance. I wanted a peace within that trusted the promises of Isaiah. Let’s face it, I’m not good at being content. I am always wanting more and looking to what is next in life, and strategizing my way out of anything difficult. Contentment in relationships is harder. It takes intention. I have to be intentional in my marriage, with my children and in friendships to reach and maintain contentment. I long for it all aspects of my life, but it starts with God.
So, how do I find that with God? Then I heard this scripture as a part of a Willow Creek Church message and a bit of a lightbulb went off.
But godliness with contentment is great gain (1Timothy 6:6 NIV).
Pastor Carter took this verse and turned it into an equation: Godliness + Contentment = Great Gain. Godliness is choosing to conform to God’s ideals. That, plus joyfully living within my circumstance will bring great gain. The context of this scripture is around financial gain and the want of money being the root of evil. The equation is about so much more than the pursuit of money. Focusing on the growing in Christlikeness, trusting in the promises of God and living in peace produces a life where I am left wanting nothing more. This sounds awesome to me.
I need to rest in the promises of Isaiah and strive for contentment, joyfully living within my circumstance. My life will be richer for it, and as always I have work to do.
How about you? Are you content? How have you learned to have joy in your circumstance? Share your story here and breathe life and bring hope to others.