Monday, October 10, 2005

Habitual Contentment?

Habitual contentment and constant longing seem to be mutually exclusive, don't they?

While the longing of the Christian heart for Christ and for heaven is something that is born in the heart at conversion, contentment is something that must be learned:

Paul said:

"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."

In my life I have learned that my own level of contentment is directly related to my reliance upon Christ "who strengthens me." O, to desire Christ above all things and to trust Him in all circumstances--to be strengthened by Him each day! I am reminded of these lyrics from "Before the Throne of God Aboveā€

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the wrong within,
Upward I look and see Him there;
Who made an end to all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died;
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God, the Just, is satisfied;
To look on Him and pardon me,
To look on Him and pardon me.

Sometimes, when I am frustrated and dissatisfied with my circumstances, I am tempted to despair, not so much at the circumstances but in my own lack of faith. I desire a life that pleases God, a life of contentment -- habitual contentment; but it seems elusive, and at times impossible. And yet Christ is there, ever ready to forgive and restore, offering rest. Rest in Christ is what brings the desired contentment. Like Paul, I need to learn in whatever situation I am in to be content.


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