Happiness and ContentmentBro. David Chancellor
7/22/2007 6:00 PM
Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
James pointed the people to the prophets for an example. "Behold, we count them happy which endure…" Everyone wants to be happy. The founders of our country called the pursuit of happiness one of our inalienable rights. It is often found in places where people aren’t looking for it. Happiness is found in being content.
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. But I have all, and abound; I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Paul had learned to be content regardless of his circumstances. If we would endure, we need to learn this. Contentment is possible through the grace God gives. Paul let them know he was content, but that what they sent was a real blessing. Be happy with your present situation.
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
It’s the job of marketing and advertising to cause you to be discontent. We need to be content with what we have. A covetous person isn’t a contented person or a happy person. We can be happy with what we have. Stuff doesn’t necessarily increase your happiness.
And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.
"…and be content with your wages." There are people who are out to sow discontent. Learn to be content with what you earn.
1 Timothy 6:6-8
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
Godliness with contentment is where the gain is at. Food and clothes are the necessities of life. Anything beyond that is an added blessing. If we focus on pleasing god, we can be happy with a lot less stuff. God has blessed us with many things that make our lives more comfortable. He gives them to us to use to accomplish his purpose. Some people aren’t happy because others have more than they do. Contentment is found in realizing that God has provided for us well. It’s fine to plan for retirement, but find out what "enough" is. Figure out what you need.
Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth the prisoners: The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord loveth the righteous: The Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.
"Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help…" This should work for our happiness and contentment. He’ll work on our situation; he allowed it to exist. God chose the course of your life; get in line with it and then be content. Learn to be content where God puts you. People need to see that happiness is found in serving God. God is the answer for every need. Happiness is found in doing God’s will.