“The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment,” – Doug Larson
The quest for happiness seems endless. Many people have made it their primary goal in life. In the search for happiness, men and women have indulged every whim, desire, aim, passion, goal, and pleasure. Yet, how many people have found the happiness they seek? Decade after decade, we attempt to uncover the secret of happiness.
Charles Spurgeon said that “it is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” Somewhere along the way we have equated getting more and then more again with happiness. The commercial and materialistic nature of today’s advertisements reinforce that viewpoint. They have become very adept at convincing the consumer that their product will make the purchaser happy. Or popular. Or cool. I don’t care how much Armani cologne I put on, however, I will never be irresistible to women.
Here’s what I know. From our earliest days, people reinforce and live out the saying we all know to be true: more is never enough. And deep inside we know that the hunt for happiness will never be entirely completed through acquiring more material things and more success. I believe there will always be something lacking when we continue to pursue greater and larger “toys” in an effort to manufacture a sense of purpose, security, well-being, and happiness.
So where does that leave us? Frustrated? Often disappointed? Worried? Lacking joy? But, if you can look past all that you can have, you can be content. The forgiveness He provides for our failures and transgressions gives us a deep and lasting peace, contentment, and happiness. Resting in the security of Jesus allows us to turn our focus away from how much we can accumulate for ourselves and toward how much we can serve Him and further His kingdom.
Paul tells us as much in Philippians 4:11-13: “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Do you really want to know contentment? If so, you must start by making Jesus the ruler of your life. Believe His promises and trust His providence in your life. And when that happens you will begin to enjoy more of the “moments of life.” You will leave worries about tomorrow with the Lord and you will accept every situation as God’s wise classroom for your growth and development. And when this happens, you will find that in good time or bad, pleasant or painful . .. . you will be content. And when you are content, you will find joy.
1. Examine your “contentment quotient.” Are you satisfied with what you have? Are you growing in your contentment?
2. Do you rob yourself by wishing your life was somehow different?
2. What is the difference between joy and contentment?
4. What is the secret of being content in every circumstance?
5. Meditate on Psalm 4. What verses stand out to you? What does this show you about your own search for contentment?