How are you doing with nurturing contentment in life right now?
A few years ago, I had a conversation with one of our boys.
Boy: “I’m never content, Mom.”
This came after I’d done something for him and had hoped it would (finally) be enough for him.
And I was kind of hurt.
In that conversation, I realized contentment never begins with what others do for us.
If that’s true, where does contentment in life begin?
Understanding and evaluating our belief systems may be the place where contentment begins.3 Good Ways to Nurture Contentment in Life Right Now—Understanding and evaluating our belief systems may be the place where contentment begins #contentment #faithlife Click To Tweet
Truths about contentment
- Contentment does not equal happiness. When we’re happy, we may not be content. But we can be content in life and not have happiness.
- Contentment doesn’t come from becoming a different kind of person, working a different job, having more money/things, having a different appearance (hair, skin color, weight, etc), or a different set of circumstances.
- Contentment is not dependent on externals, but on who we are internally. Where we find our value. What we believe about ourselves.
Greg Laurie says, “Paul was saying that real contentment comes from the state of the heart.”
- Our contentment in life isn’t based on how others treat us—good or bad. As my son proved, others can treat us well—help us out with things—and we can still feel discontent. On the other hand, someone can treat us terribly, but that doesn’t have to impact our level of contentment.
- Contentment may, in part, be based on our understanding of our value. When we know Whose we are—how our Father values and loves us—our perspective changes, becomes more accurate.
- If contentment reflects our heart condition, then embracing the truth we are loved by our limitless Heavenly Father can imprint contentment into how we process life and perceive the situations we face.
Trusting the Lord more than ourselves—believing His plans for us are always for our best—can help us to not wish for something else.
What nurtures contentment in life?
There may be many ways to nurture contentment, but these three thoughts are foundational.
Believe we are loved by God
I believe contentment thrives when we choose to believe we are loved by God. There’s something freeing that happens when we sink into the love of another, especially of our Heavenly Father. We find peace, even in hard situations. We discover confidence to walk through the situations God allows into our lives.
When we know we are loved by God, we will trust Him more readily. Is this hard sometimes? YES. When we face pain, disappointment, or fear-inducing situations, we may be forced to work through some mindsets to get to the place where we’ll trust God.
Examples of trust
Throughout the Bible, God shares examples of people who trusted Him in difficult circumstances.
- Joseph chose trust when he was imprisoned by his brothers, was a slave to Potiphar, and unjustly imprisoned again.
- David trusted God when Saul sought his life. He believed God’s plan for him to one day be king.
- Jeremiah trusted God when not even one person was saved through his ministry. When he was placed in a cistern.
- How often did the apostles, Paul, and other New Testament believers trust God when they faced persecution?
Focus our hearts on God
When we trust that God’s got us, that He’s holding us, that He has good plans for our lives, we can face any situation and have contentment.3 Good Ways to Nurture Contentment in Life Right Now—When we trust that God’s got us, that He’s holding us, that He has good plans for our lives, we can face any situation and have contentment #contentment #faithlife Click To Tweet
Why? Because of where our hearts are focused. When we fix our eyes and hearts on God and the truths we know about Him, He firms up our footing.
Our contentment is based on the state of our hearts.
Why is contentment important?
People believe many things about why contentment is important. For those with a relationship with Jesus, contentment reflects pieces of our relationship with Him.
God is all about our hearts. He cares about the circumstances we face, the struggles we grapple through, the hurts we need healing from. But our hearts reflect how much we trust Him and His love for us. He yearns for our hearts to be His.
Contentment isn’t about being happy or even joyful all the time. Contentment isn’t a one-and-done decision. If we want to live in a spirit of contentment, we must watch where our heart is focused.
Contentment in life isn’t a guaranteed circumstance. We can be like Paul when he says in Philippians 4:11-13:
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
We won’t have enough strength to get through life on our own. But when we lean into the truth that Jesus will strengthen us, we can have contentment in every situation.
I wish I could say that my son now lives in a continual state of contentment. Goodness, I wish I could say that I do.
The truth is, contentment in life is something we grow into as we grow deeper in our relationship with the Lord.
We need to . . .
take our focus off of ourselves and put it on Him . . .
and trust that He both has good plans for us and He walks with us through the hard things in life.
What about you? What choices help you to live with contentment in life? Are there Bible verses you’ve clung to that help you keep your focus on God to know contentment?
As of this week, the Tell His Story link-up is hosted at Andrew’s place. Follow the link to find Tell His Story’s new home!