(Today’s devo is a continuation of yesterday’s, which you can find here.)
“…So that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Tim. 6:19, NIV).
Contentment is both part of the fruit of joy, and part of the fruit of peace. You know how agricultural engineers crossed tangerines and grapefruits and came up with tangelos? Contentment is like that. It’s a hybrid of joy and peace. It’s a quality the Holy Spirit cultivates in us, the longer we walk intimately with Him.
At the same time, we can cooperate with His development of this fruit in our lives. We do so by actively persisting in purposeful praise, thanksgiving and trust; in the face of whatever adversities we are facing. God calls this “taking hold of” the abundant life that Jesus died to provide for us (1 Tim. 6:19, John 10:10). Contentment will not come running after us, pin us down, and take over our lives. It’s up to us to insistently, aggressively choose contentment over discontent, just as we choose one outfit over another at the beginning of the day.
Not long ago, I read an article about the singer Carman. At age 61, he very recently beat cancer that was supposed to kill him… and got married for the first time. The author included a quote by him from 2015, before he had met his new wife:
“I’m just one of those people who is very content with wherever I am in life. Sometimes I have thousands of people around me and sometimes no one. I’m cool either way. I could live in a bus, a hotel, a farm, a small apartment or a mansion (and I’ve done them all) and be quite content with whatever lot in life God provides. I was content and happy laying in bed for eight months with just a caregiver and my cat Phil. I’m quite satisfied with the way my life is and don’t grieve over things I don’t have. God has been good to me and I enjoy each new day as a gift. As far as marriage, when the right one surfaces and it’s the right time I’ll do it.”
My admiration for Carman began in junior high, and, reading that, it just escalated even more. Happy and content, even while battling cancer. No wonder he won that war!
Seriously. You and I, too, have everything we need to richly enjoy life, right now. That’s not just poetic sentiment. It’s really true. Contentment has nothing to do, whatsoever, with our external circumstances. Rather, it flows from a deep, quiet trust in the goodness of the Father’s heart. Trust that my Daddy will provide absolutely everything I need, always. This includes everything my body needs, everything my spirit needs, and everything my soul needs. Daddy has promised to take care of you and me, and He never breaks a promise.
Read this statement: “God… richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Tim. 6:17, NIV). Dear child, do you believe that? Do you really believe that?
The more deeply you believe it, the more contented you will be. The more profoundly this truth sinks into your spirit and is integrated into the fabric of your being, the more you will experience “the life that is truly life” (v. 19).
In 2018, let’s ask Daddy to work contentment richly into the very core of who we are!
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