Cultivating a Contented Heart
“Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” Psalm 37:1-7
Do you struggle with contentment? I do. So many times in life I have found myself looking at the lives of others and wishing I had what they did. Wishing I could finally find a boyfriend, be married, have money, have a degree, have children, have my own house… and so the list went on. But each time one of those “wishes” were filled, I would find something else to wish for.
I didn’t learn true contentment until I started striving to be content in Christ. The world says that we become content through positive thinking or simply being thankful for what we do have. While that’s helpful, it’s not the true solution. What if you lost everything? What if there truly wasn’t a positive thing left in your life? What if you found yourself in the position of Paul the apostle—beaten, imprisoned, lonely, and hungry?
We need to learn contentment like Paul did: “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13).
Paul found contentment in God, the same way the Psalmist did: delighting and trusting himself to God. He waited patiently for God to do what He saw best. Everything you have is from the hand of God, and you can believe it is for your good and His glory (Romans 8:28-30).
Find contentment in trusting God with what He has given you, and delight in Him above all. Stop finding your delight and happiness in things, people, or circumstances, and instead find your ultimate joy in God. That’s when you will be able to have true contentment in any and every situation—whether in want or in abundance.
God, please help me to find my contentment in You. You are truly all I need—You are sufficient. Please forgive my greedy, discontented heart that yearns for things You haven’t given me. Help me to trust You in what You have given me, and help me to delight in You above all.
Make a list of all the things you want and desire. Then make another list of the attributes of God with Scripture to back them up. Compare the two lists and see how God is much better than those things you desire so deeply.