By: Noah Engelker
In the church, the idea of Contentment is talked about and taught constantly. We’re told that once we are content with who we are and where we are at in life, everything will work out. I hear this when talking about situations in life, that could be college decisions, family issues, and in the realm of dating. In high school, I hear this on constant repeat to all high schoolers, but mostly towards girls. They are told that once they are content in Christ, God will bring along this amazing guy who will sweep them off their feet. In general, this is told and taught to anyone dealing with loneliness. Whether that be romantical, with family, or friends. Again they are taught that once they are at a “good place” with Jesus, or they are content, then they will get what they don’t have.
All this produces from what I’ve seen and experienced is a bunch of hurting, scared, and broken people trying to act like they have it all together. This makes total sense because all the people they see have it all, and they are all put together. Lets see what Paul has to say.
2 Corinthians 4:7-9
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.
Paul knew what life is like. He knew the hardships and trials of a life following Jesus. He knows and clearly shows that there are going to be seasons of hurting and pain and that its ok to have them. It’s ok to hurt, be sad, and lonely when it’s through the eyes of good theology. We see that in 2 Corinthians 4, Paul admits that were attacked, but never to the point that we are crushed. It’s ok to be perplexed, or confused, but not until we’ve given up hope or despaired. People may attack us for our faith but we have to remember that Jesus is with us through it all. Paul goes so far to say that sometimes were going to knock down and it will hurt, but Christ will never allow it to destroy us, because whether in life or death we know our ultimate goal is Christ. This is what biblical contentment is, what true contentment is.
This knowledge is what allows Paul to say in Philippians 4:11-13 that,
11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Lord, I pray that you help us to find our contentment in you through our pains and pleasures. You are so good God, help us to remember who you are in every circumstance. We love you, lord, help us love you more.