“It may be said of one who is contented in a Christian way that he is the most contented man in the world, and yet the most unsatisfied man in the world; these two together must needs be mysterious. I say, a contented man, just as he is the most contented, so he is the most unsatisfied man in the world.”
“A soul that is capable of God can be filled with nothing else but God.”
THE MYSTERY OF CONTENTMENT
It is rather mysterious when a person can be fully satisfied with having very little, and yet could never be satisfied with all the money and riches and benefits of this world! Most contented man in the world, yet the most unsatisfied man in the world. That is a mystery worth looking into!
When Christ Jesus is teaching one of His own what true contentment is that springs from a quiet soul and from the life of Jesus within, He must bring them through many trials and things to seperate from the heart all things that are not of Him.
How can we be the most contented yet most unsatisfied in this world?
There comes a point in this journey of spiritual maturity where the Lord allows trials that take us out into a “wilderness”, where we start to lose earthly resources and things of this world and this earth, and through these trials and hardships, we learn to be content with very little.
There is a pattern, in my own life at least, where there are seasons where things needed for this life are threatened and lost. Where all seems uncertain—where we are forced to turn to the Lord alone to deliver us and to provide and see us through. Life is shaken up and we are no longer able to find security in the things of this earth—they are vain. Our only hope is in the living God!
And the lesson of contentment is bound up in these times where all is threatened and possibly lost–where we are forced to “let go” of the things of this life, and surrender our whole life to be ruled and ordered and governed by the Lord.
When our earthly resources are threatened, we learn to depend on and fully trust in the Lord for ALL things. We recognize that He is the GOD of all creation–and that everything we need is from Him. And verses like “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you” become a living reality. We actually experience God fulfilling His word in our lives. Because we are led to see that our only hope is in Him, and we obey His command to seek first His Kingdom, and He, in His own ways and own time, provides for our every need.
Contentment is learned in these times because the Lord Himself is present within our hearts and we can see Him everywhere, and in every circumstance, every deliverance.
- When my husband lost his job and couldn’t find work for 2 months, we were down to our last $ to pay bills. My husband had lost hope. But in my heart for 2 months, God was teaching me true contentment, and that all things come from His hand. So when out of no where my husband got a call for a job, all I could say is “THANK YOU JESUS!” and I knew it was from HIM ALONE!
And I was content with what I had. I still had a home. I still had a car. I still had food in the fridge. I still had my family. I still had the internet. I still had a lawn mower.
There was a time through those months that I had to really decide what was more important—all this earthly stuff that would perish? or the Presence of Jesus in my life. Would my life be over if I lost earthly things? Would I still be content if the only thing I had left in this world was the Presence of the Lord?
And I let go.
I came to the place where I could honestly say to the Lord, I don’t care what we lose if only I have you with me!
And He came through; He ALWAYS comes through. And what I actually lost in those months was my selfish desires, fear, trust in myself, and trust in others to save me. What I gained was true heart rest and contentment in Christ alone! And greater faith in Him.
And this is how we can be the most contented, yet be the most unsatisfied one in the world.
THE DIVINE DISCONTENT
Divine discontent is that which is in the heart of a child of God that can only be fulfilled by God alone. There is a discontentment that is in the heart of His children that could NEVER be satisfied with ANYTHING that is found in this earthly life and world.
The most common phrase in my home is: “will it make your life better?” 🙂
Whenever my husband and I are talking about some earthly thing or desire, or even when I am contemplating a matter to myself—the main question we have to ask is, “but will it actually make your life better or satisfy you?”
The answer is always NO.
See, when we truly belong to the Lord of Lords—- we could attain every possible wealth and luxury of this life and still be the most unsatisfied one in this world. There is nothing that can satisfy my heart that comes from this world. My heart can only be satisfied by God Himself.
When we went through that trial of job loss, I had to realize that even if we won the lottery or came into some inheritance in this world— it would never bring my heart true satisfaction, rest, joy, and peace.
It is only the Presence of God, it is only Christ dwelling in my heart by faith, abiding fellowship and communion in spirit and in truth with God, that my heart is satisfied. That all the longing of my soul is filled.
“Many trials that seem to never end. His word declares this truth.”
“We will enter in His rest with wonders anew.”