Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
“Be content with such things as ye have.”
Hebrews 13: 5
Contentment may be defined as a state of happiness and satisfaction, yet its opposite, discontentment, is permeating today’s society and making it restless, leading rapidly to the great catastrophe of trouble and anarchy which the Scriptures point out will be the end of this present Age, “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation” (Daniel 12: 1). Our text is not addressed to the world, but to the Lord’s consecrated people. They see what the world does not see, namely, the reason why God has permitted the reign of sin and death in the world for the past 6,100 years – that God, who has been just to inflict the penalty of sin – death, and its attendant disease, pain and trouble – is also loving and gracious, and has prepared a redemption from the sentence and an ultimate deliverance from the blight of sin and death. We rejoice in knowing that this ransom price has already been paid, and that as a result, the whole world which was first tried and sentenced in Father Adam is to be tried again individually; and that the time for this trial is future (Acts 17: 31).
The Lord’s consecrated people rejoice in the hope of eternal life, and longs for release from the present conditions of weakness and the fall. They look forward to the times of restitution of all things (Acts 3:19-23). In the meantime, they view every affair and incident of this present life that is not sinful as a cause for thankfulness to the Lord. Our Lord informed us that the way was rugged, saying that whosoever will live godly in this present time shall suffer persecution. Our Lord’s example, as well as that of the Apostles, all indicate that we of the present time have much to be thankful for, that our lives are during comparatively pleasant times.
Gratitude for Trials
We are to be thankful also for our trials and tribulations. We must lay hold by faith on the assurances of the Lord’s Word that all things are working together for good to those who have consecrated their lives unto Him. Viewed from this standpoint, all the trials and difficulties which come to us will be seen to be mercies and blessings designed to develop in us a Christlike character so that we may be His representatives and ministers of righteousness now and hereafter. If these lessons from the Lord’s Word are received into good and honest hearts, they will bring forth joy, peace, trust, contentment, happiness and love in the lives of those who put them into exercise, and the influence upon our families, neighbors and associates will tend toward more happiness in their lives.
Instead of complaining about the weather, let us be content with such weather as we have. In God’s due time He will bring man’s home, the earth, into a Paradisaic condition. If our health is not the best, instead of mourning and complaining, let us be thankful that it is not worse, remembering that as a member of the fallen race the full penalty of sin against us is pain and suffering unto death. May we make the most of what health we have. Our text is not only good medicine for our spiritual health, but also for our physical health, for it is a known fact that people aggravate their physical complaints and diseases by their fretfulness and unhappiness of mind.
Faith Helps to Contentment
The lesson of faith to the Lord’s consecrated people is not merely in doctrines, but is chiefly confidence in God – that what He has promised He is able and willing to fulfill. This faith grasps not only the things to come, but also the things present. The best illustrations of this continuous confidence in God is found in our Lord’s experiences. He continually realized the supervision of Divine wisdom in respect to all His affairs. Consequently, He not only went to the Father frequently in prayer, and to the Word of God for guidance, but every experience through which He passed He realized as being under Divine supervision. Faith in the Divine supervision of all our affairs not only gives peace and contentment, but it saps the root of all selfish ambitions and vain gloryings and boastings. Faith in the Lord’s supervision prefers the Lord’s arrangement to any other.
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