THE RICHES OF CONTENTMENT
“If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.”
God often won’t change our circumstances until we relinquish trust in them being the source of our longed-for security, rest, and abundant life. He is too good and loves us too much to allow us to remain victims and addicts, poor in soul, who trust in broken cisterns for life, which can never ultimately satisfy. The wilderness forces the question: is His portion enough?
Paul exhorts: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing and in everything give thanks.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) The rejoicing, prayer and gratitude ‘always’, ‘unceasing’ and ‘in everything’ is the key here. When we carry a righteous heart-posture irrespective of our circumstances, we have begun to mature in the site of heaven and to walk in the abundant life that Jesus promised (John 10:10).
Paul wrote, “I have learned to be content in whatever state I am” (Philippians 4:11). The abundant life of contentment must be learnt, which comes with maturity. I am not living abundantly if I am still a victim of my circumstance. Something or someone other than Jesus has become Lord. God wants us to know that the kingdom of God really is within us and that anything and everything is possible despite what’s happening on the outside, circumstantially. As Jesus once modelled, nation changers snooze in storms with happy dreams.
Jesus modelled abundant life and came to give us abundant life. He is not letting us be until we get it, however much we kick and scream! The contentment of abundant life says, “I am able to live fully in the season I am in. I am not going to be anxious. I am going to thrive and live thankfully.” Abundant life is ‘living with a full heart”. Bill Johnson says, “Living in abundance involves staying in your lane and thriving in the place and season God has you in.”
When you can celebrate others’ breakthrough and blessing, it says an awful lot about the state of your heart and the Lordship of Jesus (as opposed to something else) in your life. In effect, it qualifies you for your own blessing and demonstrates that you could handle the persecution that it might/will bring. You could handle it being taken from you. The thing doesn’t own you, it hasn’t become Lord.
Bill Johnson goes on to say, “Living in abundance with contentment does involve having dreams – a bigger house, a spouse and family, a larger company, a more influential ministry. The Father loves to position us for increase. But when my dreams make me anxious, they disturb the Lordship of Jesus.” Those who are thankful in their present state are the richest people on earth.
Your patience and levels of gratitude are indications of your surrender, your trust and your freedom. Can you rejoice whatever the situation, can you give thanks whatever storm is blowing? Is your prayer life and intimacy with the Father constant, merely because His glorious presence is your chief portion? That is true contentment. That is abundant life. That is freedom.