Daily Encouragement: Year 2, Day 119

From Handbook to God’s Promises


My One and Only Need
(Hebrews 13:5–6)

Take a survey of any number of people involved in professions or trades and ask them to list what they need in life. The responses will probably be lengthy. First will appear the obvious: food, clothing, a house, transportation, and a job. Beyond the “basics” you would encounter a phone, a washer and dryer, a refrigerator, a television, furniture, a computer, an internet connection, tools of the trade . . . well, the list could go on forever.

Life has become so specialized and complex, and our standard of living so advanced, that what would once have been considered unthinkable luxuries are now considered necessities. One of the greatest challenges Christians face in this material world is to stand at the intersection of “What Is Possible” and “What Is Necessary” and determine a direction to go in life.

The secret to managing the material world is found in focusing on one thing instead of many: contentment. That is our one and only need. The writer to the Hebrews says, “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have.” Notice that he doesn’t say “don’t acquire anything,” or “be destitute.” Instead, he says “be content.”

Being content means being satisfied with our condition today. If we have lost something we had yesterday, we should be no less satisfied today without it than we were yesterday with it. If we acquire something new tomorrow, we should be no more satisfied tomorrow than we are today without it. Contentment means being free from the love of material things; it means that we don’t allow the pursuit of more and more of these things to be our driving force (see Eccl. 4:8; Phil. 4:11–12).

And why are we able to be content whether or not we possess “things”? Because we already have the only possession that ever really matters: God Himself, who says, “I will never desert you; nor will I ever forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

God’s Promise:
When you see contentment as your only need, it will become all you want.