A Sermon on Contentment
Here come bad news, talking this and that (Yeah!)
Well, give me all you got, don't hold it back (Yeah!)
Well, I should probably warn ya, I'll be just fine (Yeah!)
No offense to you, don’t waste your time
Here's why... (Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof (Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth (Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you (Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do. - Pharrell Williams, Happy
What is contentment?
Contentment means that you are satisfied in your circumstance, with what you have.
A state of heart in which you would be at peace if God gave you nothing more than he already has. Max lucado, In the Grip of Grace
1. Signs of negative discontentment
a. Comparison with others leading to Jealousy and Envy
James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.
b. Complaining/Grumbling: about people and circumstances.
1 Cor. 10: 9-10 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
c. Wishing alternative realities
Ecclesiastes 5:18 Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward
d. Greed for money and possessions
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you.
American behavioral scientist February 1, 1995, Marsha Richins: Social Comparison, Advertising, and Consumer Discontent
2. The problem with negative discontentment
a. Ingratitude for His deeds in the Past.
Is 51:1 Look to the rock from which you were hewn And to the quarry from which you were dug.
b. Contempt for His Promises for the Future.
Psalm 37:7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
c. Disdain for His Presence in the Present.
Heb 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you.
3. How to be content
a. It is learned.
Phil 4:11-12 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.
Job 36:11 If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.
Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.
b. Ignorance is bliss.
1 Kings 21:1 Now it came about after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden because it is close beside my house, and I will give you a better vineyard than it in its place; if you like, I will give you the price of it in money.” 3 But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid me that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” 4 So Ahab came into his house sullen and vexed because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and ate no food.
c. Theres another choice.
What if God’s only gift to you were his grace to save you. Would you be content? You beg him to save the life of your child. You plead with him to keep your business afloat. You implore him to remove the cancer from your body. What if his answer is, “My grace is enough.” Would you be content?
You see, from heaven’s perspective, grace is enough. If God did nothing more than save us from hell, could anyone complain? If God saved our souls and then left us to spend our lives leprosy-struck on a deserted island, would he be unjust? Having been given eternal life, dare we grumble at an aching body? Having been given heavenly riches, dare we bemoan earthly poverty? Max lucado, In the Grip of Grace
1 Tim 6:6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.