1998-11-10 - Contentment
1 Timothy 6:8 And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
This is the third time on the topic of contentment. We have been looking at what contentment is not. Contentment is not Murmuring, it is not covetous yearning, and lastly, today, contentment is not worrisome anxieties.
3. AnxietyDo you remember Uzzah? If you are a someone who struggles with worry or anxiety Uzzah should be a Biblical character you become very familiar with. Uzzah was clearly a well intentioned man who made a deadly mistake (2 Samuel 6:3-11). While the Ark of God (Ark of the Covenant) was being transported it appeared to Uzzah that it might fall over so Uzzah grabbed the Ark to support it. But while Uzzah was preoccupied with his worry about the Ark, he forgot God's commands. (Numbers 3:39, says that a layman coming near the Ark was to be put to death, and in Joshua 3:4, where there was to be a distance of 2000 cubits (about 1000 yards) between the priests carrying the Ark and the people following it.
I remember a bulletin blooper I once read, "Don't let worry kill you, let the church help." Worry doesn't usually kill us, but it killed Uzzah. Because of his fears and worries about the Ark falling over and the actions he took to prevent this from happening, "God struck him down there for his irreverence; and he died there by the Ark of God." (2 Samuel 6:7)
Think with me for a moment about all the great changes in society worry has brought about. Also think about your personal life, how much have you altered or gained by worry? Worry is a state of a mind that is grasping for contentment. We worry because we are not content with our particular circumstances or conditions. Worry has never changed $1 into $10, worry has never changed the circumstances of that loved one who is late due to traffic, worry has never changed a "C-" paper to an "A" paper.
But one says, "I cannot help worrying and being anxious". This need not be true, but rather, anxiety means that you think the Lord is not big enough for this particular situation, as Uzzah did, and therefore, you must take these concerns upon yourself. Anxiety usually makes us unfit to handle the pressing concerns that are captivating the thoughts. Contentment allows us to rest in the providence, protection and sovereign will of God.
What then should worry do for us? When we find ourselves worrying, this should lead us to prayer, and to a simple trust and dependence upon God. May the Lord lead us all closer towards this level of contentment that is, for everyone, so difficult to attain.
Robert Leighton on the security of being a Christian "How can you affright him? Bring him word that his estate is ruined; "Yet my inheritance is safe," says he, Your wife, or child, or dear friend is dead; "Yet my Father lives." You yourself must die; "Well, then, I go home to my Father, and to my inheritance."
Soli Deo Gloria,