Contented Living

       But godliness with contentment is great gain. I Timothy 6:6. What does it take to live contentedly?  The Apostle Paul, chosen by God, suffered through beatings, shipwrecks, stoned, and imprisoned for his faith in Christ Jesus. He wrote, Î have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  Philippians 4:12.
         As we walk deeper into this pandemic time, are we content?  Do we know the difference between needs and wants? Suddenly we must determine the difference.  Where is our trust? Where is our faith?  There is no contentment without trusting God.  There is no contentment without having faith in God.
         Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1. The following thirty-nine verses are stories of faith from the Old Testament.  Stories of men who had a relationship with the Lord God and trusted Him with all their hearts! 
         Contentment is finding joy in what we already have in our lives – our possessions, our status, or situation, without acquiring more.
         My brother, Jim, had a verse to memorize Mom gave him. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21. He said this verse many times, until I learned it, too.  I didn’t understand, because I wondered how my heart could be in a treasure chest.
         Then I learned a verse from Matthew 5:6, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.  Then came, How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!  Psalm 119:103.
         Contentment Living is like being a wheel of life.  Its spokes are Truth, Righteousness, Trust, Faith, Life, Thankfulness, Peace, and Joy. When we wait on the Lord and trust in Him, and He turns the Wheel of our Lives, and we are strengthened to live for Him.  The center of the wheel is Hope in Christ Jesus.
         The one thing the Children of Israel did as they traveled in the wilderness for forty years is be faithful in complaining about the food, the water, and the unending journey. They soon tired of the Manna,
          For the sake of Christ, then I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10-11.
         True contentment comes from knowing we are safe in God’s hands, not for today, tomorrow but for eternity.  “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”  John 10:28.
         Waiting on the Lord is actively practicing patience, faithfulness, and expectantly.  When my Mother moved to our town to be closer, nearer to us. She shared that she gave each day to the Lord.  She waited to see what the days would bring. As the days continued, her patience with the Lord grew thin. When we wait on the Lord, trusting Him completely doesn’t mean we understand the length of the waiting.  Letting God be God and giving Him our hand so He can lead our hearts is the first step. 
         While studying contentedness I looked at the synonyms.  Cheerful, glad, pleased, satisfied, serene, and thankful. Then I looked at the word Blessed and found blissful, contented, endowed, glad, and fortunate. Contented?  There is a relationship between the meanings of Contentment and Blessed.  
         The Sermon on the Mount holds ten secrets for contentment called the Beatitudes.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they      shall be satisfied.”
  “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
  “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  Matthew 5:3-12.
         Find Joy in the Journey. With Joy is Thanksgiving and Gratefulness for the blessings that lead to contentment in Jesus.
         The Beatitudes are our stepping-stones to living a contented life in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Does Jesus care when my heart is pained

Too deeply for mirth or song,As the burdens press, and the cares distress,And the way grows weary and long?
Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.
(Frank Graeff)

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