Thursday, November 12, 2020

Lasting Contentment vs Momentary Satisfaction

 Thursday, November 12, 2020 Some material taken from I Can't Get No Satisfaction by Van Houser

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13

Paul demonstrated the greatest spiritual maturity in learning to be content in any circumstance. He understood that true contentment is not found in knowledge or circumstance, but in a relationship with Christ. It is a disposition of the heart and the will, not dependent on circumstances. It is learning to be okay when we don’t get our way, and when we follow Christ in obedience doing something that we might not choose for ourselves.

Satisfaction or Contentment?

Satisfaction and contentment are two different things. Contentment has way more to do with our heart and satisfaction seems superficial – fleshly.

We tend to lean more towards satisfaction most of the time. Satisfaction is gratifying the desires of the flesh – as fast as we can – and this day in age that can be very fast. One click and we can order anything we want and sometimes have it delivered within the hour. We can satisfy ourselves for the moment, but satisfaction is not lasting. We can satisfy our hunger and thirst, but we will soon want more to eat and drink. We satisfy other desires of our human nature only to be tormented by them until we feed them again. We cannot satisfy the flesh and the spirit because they are at war with each other. We have to make a choice and one of them must die. The flesh must die if we are to be obedient to the Lord and satisfy the spirit.

How can we satisfy the spirit? How can we find true contentment?

The first thing is to realize that Jesus has to be the first thing! Jesus has to be the Lord of our lives – over everything.

              We can find contentment in our lives by finding strength in Him. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13 He is our continual source of strength that brings contentment in all situations and circumstances. He is the only one who can bring contentment into our spirits with everything going on all around us, focusing on Him and not the storm

              Gratitude helps us refocus on our blessings instead of our unmet desires. Satan loves to see us forget the things God has done for us. We tend to ask Him for more than we thank Him for. Gratitude puts the focus back on Him and off our selfish cravings.

The true way to contentment can really be found in the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. If we can do these things, which are the will of God in Christ Jesus for us, we will find the answer to everything, including how to be content. We can rejoice always, no natter what, because we know that God is working everything for our good and His glory. Pray without ceasing, leaving it in His hands because He loves us and cares for us. Give thanks in all things - not necessarily for all things - but in all things because we know He is in control. Giving thanks in all things helps us focus on the sufficiency of Christ. Whatever we face, we can be thankful because He has a plan.

The things of this world might bring momentary satisfaction but they will also bring pain and stress and burdens.  Satan would have you believe otherwise. He wants you to believe what the world offers is all yo need to be happy. Contentment is a learned behavior but it is also a choice we make. We can choose if we want momentary comfort and pleasure along with some extra burden added to our lives, or if we want to lay our burdens down in exchange for true contentment in Him. A little satisfaction is not worth the price of peace. Choose the lasting and true contentment, only found in Him. 

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