We are bombarded by the media in commercials, ads, books, magazines, etc. to examine ourselves and our lives and to be dissatisfied with what we see. We are constantly bombarded with things that will make our life better and more complete and content. We are shown how much our lives could be if we to purchase a certain product or item. There are self-help info-commercials and programs to “make our life better”.
We are constantly shown examples of people whose lives seem to be better than ours, or perfect, because they have a certain product or lifestyle which can be obtained and/or enhanced by the purchase of a certain product. We are invited to compare others’ lifestyles to our own, and in so doing the advertisers wish us to be dissatisfied with ourselves. If our satisfaction in life comes from earthly possessions, or on what we own and possess, those possessions can be altered and taken away. If we base our contentment and satisfaction in life on the Lord Christ Jesus, there is absolutely nothing or no one that can take that away from us.
Paul is saying to us here “that I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content”; or “to be sufficient”. In El Shaddai, we serve a God that is all-sufficient. He teaches us to be content and satisfied with our present state and condition. Jacob declared this very same thing in Genesis 33:11.
God has been gracious to me and I have all I need.
We are to be content with the things that we have, be they more or less, knowing that in God we have enough. As we are in Christ and as His Spirit lives in us, we are to be a people who find our sufficiency in God—we are to be thankful for everything we have, be it more, or less. We are to be content in every state, whether it be trials or blessings; adversity or prosperity. We are instructed to be patient and to submit to God’s will for our lives. He has the plans and hope for our future. We should cheerfully, and in full contentment accept whatever He decides is our portion in life, and in all things we should give thanks to Christ our Lord.
The key given here in scripture is to not be content with the things we have, but rather with who we are. The world—and all the things in it—cannot give us this, or teach us this. This is not something that we can acquire by our carnal nature, but only by and through His grace. Learning to be content and satisfied does not come naturally. It does not come by what we learn from man, but it comes to us by what we learn from God, from our relationship with Christ, and under the teachings of the Spirit of God. We learn as students in the school of heartache and trials, from courses in a lifetime of experiences, sorrows, afflictions, and distresses. God takes the things which we experience and He teaches us, not by prosperity, but by the adversities in which we face, endure, and overcome.
There are many things of this world to entice and excite us, but they pale in comparison to our heavenly grace. It is God that decides how every person’s state and condition is to be settled. It is God that decided when we came into this world, and it will be God that decides when we go out of it, naked and bare of this world’s things.
Our worthiness and mercy are to be found in the nail-scarred hands of our Lord Jesus. He is our portion and reward in this life and in the life to come. In Him is our profit and pleasures of a life of contentment. In Christ, we have available all the promises which God has made to having such a life; and in Christ we have the hope of the future glory and happiness in the New City not built by human hands. In Christ, we the redeemed can say—even those among us who possess even the smallest of earthly possessions—this life in covenant with God, written in the blood of Christ Jesus, with grace here on earth and heaven hereafter, He is enough.
1 Timothy 6:6 A godly life brings huge profits to people who are content with what they have.
The meaning is that our life in Christ should be regarded as our greatest and most prized possession. “Content.” This word, used here, refers to a state of mind; a calm and satisfied feeling; freedom from whining, griping and complaining. This refers to being satisfied with who and what we are with Christ as the center of our lives.
Contentment here is used to denote a person satisfied with their lot in a life that is guided by God. If they are living in Christ, united to God by His Spirit, there will be a peace of mind, and this is exactly what is to be regarded as true riches. The true gain in life—the real riches which we ought to seek—is a life filled with the goodness of Christ. Delighting ourselves in this will result in having a contented mind; thereby, living a contented life. If we can submit ourselves to His will, let Him be our portion, let Him be our joy, and let Him be our object of desire, then this will do so much more to promote happiness and contentment in our lives than any other “thing”. This will do more for us than all the wealth in the world could ever do, and this is what should be regarded as our greatest desire and objective in life itself.
The world’s self-serving carnal religion invades every avenue of our lives inviting us to become free-hearted, and fulfilled by what they have to offer, but we should decline such offers and not even entertain them for a second. It is not desirable to become too intimate with ungodly things which promise to make us happy and content. Things that promise us such will expect us to join in their vanities or at least to wink at them, smile with them, as they blame, and perhaps mock at, the real source of our joy, happiness and contentment. Things that promise us happiness will either be a snare to us, or bring offense within us. Only in Christ will we find the peace that the world cannot give, and a satisfaction that is only obtained by grace. Be content in Christ—no matter the circumstance—and you will have a life full of joy and happiness. Finding contentment in Christ will free you to enjoy all the good things that God has given to all who will believe.