Philippians 4:11-12 Amplified Bible:
“I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want.”
1 Chronicles 4:10 NKJV:
“And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.”
Godly contentment should not be misunderstood. We as Christians should always try to live a balanced life, not a life of excess. There is nothing wrong with praying the ‘Prayer of Jabez’- that God would expand our territory. Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” But whether God does or doesn’t expand our territory, we are to learn how to be content, with a grateful heart, whatever we have. This does not mean that we do not keep a watch out for advancements, for open doors, for ways to better ourselves as we journey through this life.
On the other hand, when it comes to spiritual things, God wants us to strive for everything He has to offer. He gives good gifts to men (Ephesians 4:8). He wants us to hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6). He wants us to tarry for the baptism of the Holy Spirit so we can be filled with power from on high (Luke 24:49). He wants us to seek for spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1). He wants us to desire spiritual leadership (1Timothy 3:1). Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee”. It’s a peace and contentment that the world can’t give, but only God can give.
Now to what seems contrary. Sometimes God calls us to a season of fasting, which is contrary to worldly contentment. Here we become physically hungry as we spiritually hunger for God to move in special ways. God’s reward system far outnumbers the reward system of this world.
Where we live in a world where advertising is a muti-billion dollar industry, let’s not forget that the core of that advertising is to make us dis-content with what we have and fill us with lust for what the advertiser has to offer. May we as Christians not get caught up in this trap.
“Now 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 clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.” (I Timothy 6:6-9 NKJV)