The secret of contentment

4 Aug

Contentment.

The word in itself brings this idea of peace, happiness, tranquillity and relaxation; and yet, to reach contentment, the road seems overwhelmed with pain, frustrations, fights and anger.

At the women’s convention, Sarie King walked 960 women through the theme of Constant Craving – the Secret of Godly Contentment.

What a treat it was!! Not only is Sarie an great Bible teacher but her simplicity, her sense of humor and her public speaking skills made the whole day fly far too fast.

Here is what I’m left with after sitting through 3 sessions:

1. Israelites vs Moses (Numbers 10)

  • We looked at the way Israelites grumbled through their journey in the desert and the way Moses complained to the Lord about the Israelites. The Israelites showed their spirituality state (disgruntled, discontented) that only revealed that God Himself was not sufficient for them. Moses, on the other hand, takes his troubles to God, without trying to show himself in a good light.
  • Israelites complained about the Lord while Moses complained to the Lord.

2. Paul and his secret (2 for 11 and Phil 4)

  • Paul learnt to be content in every and any circumstances. Emphasis on learnt. It implies practice, training and it tells us that it’s an ongoing process. Just like prayer.
  • Paul did not find contentment because he was disciplined enough, or experienced enough but because Christ is in him. Contentment is not found in circumstances, it is found in Him who gives us strength. Circumstances don’t make us who we are, they often reveal who we are.
  • Sarie very helpfully pointed out that discontentment is NOT the absence of grief, pain sadness or uncertainty but rather that it’s the way we respond to these emotions that matter.

3. Cultivating contentment (Psalm 73 and Phil 4)

  • The psalmist envied the wicked, became bitter towards God and was tempted to give up. He cultivated himself and was self-focused. His trust in the Lord faded when circumstances were not good and started to doubt the Lord’s goodness.
  • …Until he ‘entered the sanctuary of God”. We need to cultivate trust (God is good and is for our good), holiness and perspective (from self-pity and self focused towards God and His constant presence. True understanding comes from looking towards God, not by looking at the world or at ourselves.
  • Paul cultivated his knowledge of the Lord by reflecting on Christ’s character and by thinking about “whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable…” He also cultivated prayerfulness by entrusting himself and his struggles to Him.

A lot of food for thought indeed. Part of the day was also 2 testimonies from 2 women who are learning to be content; the one in her state of singleness, the other trusting the Lord with her daughter’s precarious health. No matter who we are, we are all struggling to find contentment when things don’t go our way. “A confident trust in the Lord because He is in control”, only a few words but a big task!!

I finish with this quote by Josh Harris that Sarie included in our leaflet.

What you see in your spiritual life today is the direct result of what you’ve put into the soil of your life in day’s past. The difference between the person who grows in holiness, and the one who doesn’t is not a matter of personality, upbringing or gifting; the difference is what each has planted into the soil of his or her heart and soul. So holiness isn’t a mysterious spiritual state that only an elite few can reach. It is more than an emotion, or a resolution, or an event. Holiness is a harvest”.

What am I sowing?

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One Response to “The secret of contentment”

  1. craigandkerry August 5, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    Sounds very challenging. Looking forward to hearing Sarie give the same talks at next years Perth Women’s Convention. It seems I won’t miss out. 🙂

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