Are you in a difficult situation that has been going on a long time? Have you been praying fervently, and you still have not received your breakthrough? Are you frustrated because your agenda has not yet been fulfilled? Know that restless frustration is not God’s will for you. He wants you to enter into His rest, no matter what is going on around you. He wants you to have patience and wait upon His will and timing. He wants you to stay internally peaceful and not be moved by what you experience externally. What is the answer? CONTENTMENT.
What is contentment? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, contentment is “freedom from worry or restlessness: peaceful satisfaction.” Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. …I can do all this through [Christ] who gives me strength.” Therefore, he was free from worry and restlessness. He was peacefully satisfied because he readily received supernatural empowerment imparted through His relationship with the Lord. Contentment can only be obtained by supernatural means THROUGH Christ. Therefore, you must stay connected to the Savior in a meaningful way, if you want contentment. Discontent is a signal that you, the branch, have in some way disconnected yourself from the vine, Jesus Christ. We read in John 5:1-8:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. …If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. …If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
When we are connected to Christ, we are empowered to bear fruit. What kind of fruit? The fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 relays, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” However, as we take inventory of the fruit of the Spirit, it’s evident that contentment is a combined expression of these spiritual characteristics:
- Love: Contentment comes as a by-product of your love for God and willingness to accept His will for your life.
- Joy: Contentment is undergirded by the joy you feel because you are aware of God’s presence and His divine orchestration of your circumstances.
- Peace: Contentment is hallmarked by massive peace within your heart as you wait on the Lord for His best.
- Forbearance: Contentment exemplifies the ability to be patient, forbearing, and willing wait as long as it takes to ultimately get your breakthrough from God.
- Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, and Gentleness: Contentment (which is characterized by a belief that God is working behind the scenes on your behalf) requires that you walk in love and forgiveness toward others so that you can have confidence that God hears your prayers.
- Self-control: Contentment requires that you exercise self-control so that you override the devil’s temptation to buck God’s authority and go out and get what you want (whether it’s His will or timing for you or not).
Therefore, the question is this: What do you need to do so that contentment, an expression of spiritual fruit, shows up supernaturally? Like any other fruit, the fruit of the Spirit has to be cultivated. Therefore, if you want contentment to be effortlessly borne within you, you must do the following:
- Realize that as a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are expected to bear the fruit of contentment.
- Refuse to engage in works of the flesh that lead to frustration, and be determined to only take action as led by the Holy Spirit.
- Stay connected to the vine of Jesus Christ through daily prayer (especially for contentment), fellowship, obedience, and repentance.
- Receive “pruning” with the right perspective and attitude, counting it all joy when you go through trials and tests (James 1:1-2), and believing all things will work together for your good (Romans 8:28).
- Make sure that you continually feed and meditate on the Word daily to renew your mind, keep a fresh perspective, and keep yourself spiritually strong.
- Be grateful for what you have and express thankfulness to God in all things, realizing the fruit of peace and thankfulness go hand in hand (Colossians 3:15).
As you continue to do these things consistently, in due time, you will be astounded by how content you become. You will feel more peaceful and joyful than ever in spite of what is going on around you and how long you have been waiting for change. Remember, however, contentment is not void of a desire for change or action. It is simply a peaceful state of satisfaction while you are waiting for your change to come as you take Spirit-led action. And the best part is that you don’t have to “conjure” it up. When you make the right choices and trust the Lord, that’s when you will experience the supernatural growth of the fruit of the Spirit, and that’s how you will learn to be content in whatever state you find yourself.
How have you dealt with discontent in your life? Please leave a comment below.
I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great Relationships. Click here to find out ways you can help.
Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.
Find me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012
Follow me on Twitter: @TraceyLMoore1
Image courtesy of Hector Landaeta. via http://www.freeimages.com