What does the Bible teach about contentment?

Contentment is described as being "in a state of peaceful happiness." In a sense, contentment is the absence of worry—whether that be about who we are, what we have or don't have, or what our condition is in life. Many people struggle to be content. Human nature tends toward discontentment, but the Bible teaches us that we are to be content with what we have (Hebrews 13:5).

Contentment does not mean we cannot desire something or wish for a change in our life circumstances, but it means that we have learned to be satisfied with what we have in the present. Christ is the only true source of contentment; any other version of contentment is sure to come up short. Paul was one of the most persecuted early church leaders and went through horrendous levels of suffering (2 Corinthians 11:23–28). And yet, even Paul said: "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 4:12–13). The secret to contentment is the strength that can only come from God.

Contentment should not be measured by whether we have all of our personal preferences met. Any one of us could come up with something we would like to have that we currently do not. The love of material things or money itself is a barrier to contentment. Hebrews 13:5–6 says: "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' So we can confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'" We can be content because of our confidence in the Lord; He helps us in all areas of our lives—those in which we feel strong and those in which we feel weak (2 Corinthians 12:9–10).

Whether or not we have desires should not be what determines our level of contentment. We should ask ourselves: "Are all of my needs met for today?" If the answer is yes, then you have more than sufficient reason to be content. Even if you are in a season where it feels like you are lacking, remember that if God takes care of the birds and the flowers, even more so He will take care of you (Matthew 6:25–34; 1 Peter 5:7).

Related Truth:

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