1998-12-29 - Generating Contentment
Hebrews 13:7 Be content with such things as you have.
8. God knows what will do us good or hurt.
We ought to direct our wants and desires to the pleasure of God. It would be foolish for us to desire things God does not deem best for us and it would be just as foolish to shun those things God graciously gives us. The will of God must be given first place and our will must follow His will. This is not easy for any of us.
Most folks like to think well of themselves. And in Christ this is a great idea. But we are all still stricken with wills that are corrupt and often guided by darkness. And while sanctification is making progress in us, it does not change the fact that our wills are still fallen and wicked. If we let ourselves be led by our will and ignore the will of God, it is as if we allow ourselves to be dictated by an ignorant ruler when we could have had a wise, loving ruler.
No one really likes to think of themselves as corrupt. It doesn't do a whole lot for the self-image department. However, it is essential to grasp this, and in grasping, this to learn to bring our hearts into subjection to God's will. There is no doubt that prosperity and pleasure are more enjoyable than being chastened by God. But if the chastening should lead to us to become, "partakers of His holiness" (Hebrews 12:10), would we not be foolish to accept it if such were God's plan?
For whatever reason many Christians think they are deserving of "better than". It might be better than so-and-so, a better house, job, wife, husband, more respect at work, in the home, or in the church. Better than...whatever. Some TV preachers exploit, victimize, and feed upon such a mindset saying, "If you give in faith you will get in return".
This mindset is an attempt to bargain with God. How different was the mindset of the Psalmist in Psalm 44:19,20 --Though you have crushed us in the place of jackals, and covered us with the shadow of death, yet we have not forgotten the name of our God, or proved unfaithful to Him.-- In the midst of affliction the Psalmist submits to the will of God, trusts in Him, and remains faithful.
If our corrupt hearts were given all they desire what miserable creatures we would be. We would be vain and proud, neglectful of God and eternity, and ignorantly careless. It is best for us to be subject to God's will and to say with Christ, "Not My will but thine be done." Matthew 26:39
Subjection of our will to the will of God will lead us far in generating a contented heart and mindset.
Napoleon, on the eve of his departure to conquer Russia detailed his plans to a noble lady with such arrogance that she tried to warn him saying, "Sir, man proposes; but God disposes." To which he replied, "Madam, I propose and dispose too". A few months later his ranks were in disarray as they retreated from Moscow. He lost both his crown and his army, thus vindicating the power of the will of God over the will of even the most powerful man.
Soli Deo Gloria,