Yesterday I attended the Nest at Watermark and Suzanne Sanderson spoke on the Gift of Contentment. The video/audio isn’t up on the website yet but when it is I will share it with you. Until then, I want to share with you some of my takeaways from yesterday’s message.
She broke this somewhat misunderstood, heavy and confusing topic, down and made it quite simple. And you know I love simple.
What are the signs of discontentment? Simple…not finding satisfaction in the Lord. I think if we are all honest with ourselves we are guilty of this in some form or fashion. Other signs can be found in the acronym FINE…Freaking Out, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional.
Philippians 2:14-16 “14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labour in vain.”
What stands out to me in these verses is DO EVERYTHING WITHOUT GRUMBLING OR ARGUING. So often I find myself grumbling over the dishes in the sink, the pile of laundry on the kitchen table or the toys scattered across the floor. If I am truly finding contentment in the Lord those dishes would mean that we are lucky enough to have food to feed our family. If I am truly finding contentment in the Lord that pile of laundry would mean that we are blessed enough to have clothes to cover our backs. And if I am truly finding contentment in the Lord those toys scattered across the floor would mean that I have been able to spend quality time with my boy making memories to last a lifetime.
Galatians 5:19-24 “19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness,orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
JOY, PEACE, FORBEARANCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS AND SELF CONTROL. We have a print of these words in our bathroom as a reminder of what it looks like to live in this broken world but of the Spirit. I do not EVER do this perfectly. I never will because I am a sinner just like you and we will constantly fall short. But we can always be striving to live as Jesus called us to.
Colossians 3:1-5 “1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life,appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore,whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust,evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”
Yesterday we were asked to honestly answer the following questions:
What are you looking to for satisfaction? If I am honest, I look to many people, other than Christ for satisfaction. I look to my child, my husband, my parents, my friends, my church and my community. I also look to many things such as my house, my appearance, my car etc. for satisfaction.
What holds your desires and affections? This question was hard for me and took me some time. But my desires are to be happy, to be comfortable, to be healthy, to be a good mom and wife, to be a good friend, to be a good daughter and sister. My affection goes to my husband, my son, my friends, my family and let’s be honest my things.
Have your desires become your expectations? Some of my desires have ABSOLUTELY become expectations. The one that stands out to me is health. I desire to be healthy and be the best version of myself for my husband and my son. I also desire for my husband and my son to be healthy so that we can all enjoy our life together. I desire for my parents to be healthy so that they can see my kids grow up and play an instrumental part in their lives. I desire for my sister to be healthy so I can watch her walk across the stage and become a doctor. I go as far as to pray for our health and honestly expect the Lord to provide.
Are your expectations promises from the Lord? But God doesn’t promise us health. He doesn’t promise us that we are going to be able to stay healthy and care for our family the way we would like. He doesn’t promise us that we will outlive our babies. He doesn’t even promise us that we will get to meet our babies. He also doesn’t promise us grandparents that will live to see our kids graduate from high school and college and attend their weddings. Or a sister that will get to carry out her dream of becoming a doctor and maybe help deliver your babies ones day (not even sure if this is allowed but would be cool)
So gosh, what do we do with all of this? Seems a little heavy if you ask me. We have to get to a place where God is enough and everything else is an added bonus.
I have tried to be as honest as I can with these questions…what about you? If you sit down and reflect on your answers to these questions can you honestly say God is enough? Take some time to understand what contentment really is and how to get there.
What is contentment?
In Philippians 4:11-14 Paul talks about being content in any and every situation. He tells us that he knows what it is to be in need and he knows what it is to have plenty. He tells us that contentmeny and satisfaction from comes from the Lord.
Philippians 4:11-14 “11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. 14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.”
How do we get there?
- Count everything as rubbish (garbage). Everything you need and need to know can be found in Christ.
Philippians 3:7-11 “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake o Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ –yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings,becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
2. Hold Fast to the Word of Life
3. Know what the word of Life promise
- What he started he will finish
Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
- He is working in you
Philippians 2:13 “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
- The pain of obedience will result in glory…God’s glory and our glory.
Philippians 1:12 “12Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happenedto me has actually served to advance the gospel. “
Romans 3:15-18 “5‘Their feet are swift to shed blood;16ruinand misery mark their ways,17and the way of peace they do not know.’18‘There isno fear of God before their eyes.’
The greatest gift you can give yourself, your family and your friends this Christmas season is the gift of contentment. Know that you are enough and know that God is enough! Turn your FINE…freaking out, insecure, neurotic and emotional to FINE…Fastly hold, I‘m secure, Not swayed and Enough.