There is immense joy in contentment. The trouble is, contentment can be hard to come by. Few people I’ve met seem content. When you ask how they are, rarely do you get a boisterous, even joyful, response. In fact, the typical “I’m fine” and “good” responses border on depressing and always leave me questioning their sincerity. Maybe I’m cynical because I know my own responses are typically half-hearted at best.
Let’s be honest; the response of a disciple should never be anything less than an enthusiastic “fantastic”. Regardless of what’s happening in this current life, we have the promise of something far greater down the road. We can be presently miserable, but must never lose sight of how amazingly blessed and fortunate we are.
I get what happens in our day to day life can impact how we feel. I totally understand depression and feeling as if there’s no point in going on. At the same time, recognize how selfish these feelings are. I know it’s not easy to do when you’re stuck in the depths of despair, but it is the quickest way out of those depths. Jesus died for you and me so we could experience an abundant life (John 10:10). Does this mean we can expect to live fabulous lives full of luxury, comfort, love, and security here on earth? Nope. The time we spend in our mortal shells is such a minute sliver of our entire lives, it hardly bears recognizing. Our true abundance comes when we leave this realm to spend eternity with Christ.
So why bother with this life anyway? Why not simply bide our time, or perhaps even hasten it, so we can get to the good part? I am not immune to the temptation of this. However, I know God has put me here at this time, in this place, for this season, for a reason (Ephesians 2:10). I believe our time on earth is a training ground. While we’re here, we have the freewill to choose or reject Christ. We have the freewill to do His work or to pursue our own. I think all this will matter when we face Him. What if our performance in this life has significant bearing on how we spend the next? It is my belief God is looking for a few good men and women to work in His Kingdom when Christ returns.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be one who Jesus considers faithful and true. I want to be known as a friend of God (Job 1:8), and an example God can hold up and say to the enemy, “Have you considered my servant Tim?” I don’t want these things for my own esteem and legacy. I want them because I believe God wants them for me. With this as my driving mission, I find I can be content in any circumstance. And I can attest there is indeed joy in contentment. I’m not always happy, but I am always joyful because I know what matters. I know whose I am and who He says I am. Nothing else matters. If you want joy, seek contentment. If you want contentment, rest in Christ and do His will. He’ll take care of the rest.