1998-12-15 - Contentment
Hebrews 13:5 be content with such things as you have.
7. NOTHING besides food and covering is absolutely necessary.
One of the first things they tell a prospective preacher when he is going to preaching school is that the best illustrations are found in Scripture. They tell Seminary students something like this, "Let Scripture illustrate Scripture." It sounds simple, and surprisingly, it really is that simple. If you want to understand Scripture, go back and look at more Scripture.
So on this fifth point of contentment and how to generate contentment we will follow this pattern and look at Jacob. When Jacob was about to set out on a journey to return to his fathers house he feared Esau, his brother, because of the birthright incident which occurred the last time they had been together. Jacob says the following, "If God be with me, and if God keeps me in the way that I take, and if He will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and if I return to my father's house in peace, then God will be my God." Genesis 28:20,21
Jacob did not know if his brother would meet him with joy or with a sword. He and his very large family embarked on this journey and his only request is for the provision of God in the necessities. His desires were not for delicacies, or luxuries, but rather he asked for the very things that would support him on his journey, food and clothing.
Jacob knew something every wise person knows, namely, that we have but a little time to spend in this world. We do not need an abundance to make it here, we need enough to suffice, and we need a contented heart if God gives us no more.
Have you ever walked in a shoe that was a couple of sizes too big for your foot? Did having more shoe help you? I doubt it. In fact, I bet that having more shoe did one thing, it gave you blisters. So also having more things can impede us rather than help us. It was the same when David put on Saul's armor, 1 Samuel 17:39, the armor was more than he needed, it would have thwarted his cause.
Contentment in the area of things is a tough road for us to walk these days. We are judged by the clothes we wear, the car we drive, the neighborhood we live in …, etc. We are judged by things. But, notwithstanding how you live, well-to-do, or last pay check - to the one before that one, God does not judge you by the things you have. He looks at the heart.
The heart that has been renewed in Christ is a pure heart and when God looks at such a heart He sees the heart of Christ. Let us not have these pure hearts fighting the defilement of discontentment. May we learn to be content with the provisions of God and praise Him for them as Jacob did.
"Happiness does not depend on the actual number of blessings we manage to scratch from life, but on our attitude towards them." Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
Soli Deo Gloria,