Contentment in Christ

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Margin in Life

What matters most to you?

Unless we know who and Whose we are, our answer to this question will lead only to discontentment. We will end up defining ourselves based on what we have and what we do. But knowing God is the One who defines us leads us to a place of hope.

In the busyness of our lives, we can lose sight of who we are. Creating margin in our lives will help remind us of our identity in Christ.

Contentment in Christ

Biblical contentment means knowing that God has given you exactly what you need—even if it is not exactly what you want. This is different than complacency or compromise, in which we do not develop our relationship with God. Instead, contentment involves walking with God and growing in our identity in Him. As we become more like Christ, we will become more content.

We can walk with a sense of peace and poise while being energized by our contentment in Christ. The more we become like Him, the more we strive for excellence. This involves submitting our wills to God’s will, learning to be content where He leads us.

This contentment is not passivity, and it does not involve loss in the deepest sense. Yes, we must pick up our cross and deny ourselves, but in doing so, we gain everything. God, after all, has our best interests at heart, whereas we do not know what we really need. This is why we need to submit our plans to God, dying to our agenda and recognizing that God is calling us to greater good (Matthew 16:24–26). We must not define “good” the same way that the world defines good. The Christian life is difficult and full of pain in this land of the dying, but life in Christ is the best thing for us.

A Choice of Contentment

Paul reveals that the secret of contentment is finding peace in God. This is why he says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Although we tend to misquote this verse, taking it to mean that we can do whatever we want in Christ, Paul uses it to refer to good times and bad times. He has peace in God even in the midst of trials and suffering.

We, too, are called to have this level of contentment, resting in God. The more trials we experience here, the more we should long for what is lasting. Let us, then, give up what will not last for God’s eternal promises.

Want to listen to more of Ken’s teachings? Check out the Friday morning series archives.

Note: this series is based on Richard A. Swenson’s A Minute of Margin and Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives.

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