Practical Steps to Having Peace and Contentment

“…6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things.…”—Philippians 4:6-8

We all live in a fallen world that seems to have taken a turn for the worse. Mega disasters, floods, global warming, wars and more. If you follow the news about these events it can cause you to lose sleep or worse your peace and contentment.

What steps can you as a born again Christian take in order to prevent or minimize the loss of your peace? To begin, let’s look at what we’re dealing with in this arena of agony. As noted we live in this fallen world which is dominated by Satan and his minions. The bible describes him as a roaring lion roaming about, seeking who he can devour and destroy. Essentially, Satan is our enemy and must be dealt with as such.

Our battle with Satan occurs in the spiritual realm which requires us to fight with similar tactics and weapons. The weapons we use can be found in Ephesians 6:10-13 which says,  “10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

The specific pieces of armor mentioned in verse 13 above are described in the follow-on verses 14-17. The most effective weapon we have in our defense arsenal is the sword of the spirit better known as the Bible, God’s word.

If you spend as little as 15 minutes a day reading and studying God’s word then you will have a defensive shield about you that Satan can’t break through. God’s word is the truth and Satan hates that. When you know God’s word, what it says about things and situations, you can look clearly at them and know whether you are being deceived or seeing the truth. The ability to separate fact from fiction will give you the peace and contentment you desire.

The next time you are feeling uneasy about something or losing sleep over it, go to God in prayer and read His word about your situation. By doing that you can rest easy knowing God is in control.

The Lord Will Meet All Of Your Needs

Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Taking delight in the Lord means that our hearts truly find peace and fulfillment in Him. If we truly find satisfaction and worth in Christ, Scripture says He will give us the longings of our hearts. Does that mean, if we go to church every Sunday, God will give us a new Rolls Royce? No. The idea behind this verse and others like it is that, when we truly rejoice or “delight” in the eternal things of God, our desires will begin to parallel His and we will never go unfulfilled. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [the necessities of life] will be given to you as well.”

Many delight in wealth, status, material possessions, and other temporary things of this world, but they are never satisfied. They never truly get what they want, hence the reason they are always wanting more. This is the lesson King Solomon learned in his pursuit of earthly treasure: “Everything is meaningless!” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). On the other hand, delighting in the Lord is true treasure indeed: “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).

First John 2:15–17 says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” We will never be deeply fulfilled or “happy” with the things this world has to offer. If we place our joy and hope in God first, He will meet all of our needs. He will even grant our as our hearts’ desires begin to match up with His will. If we truly place priority on the Lord, chances are our heart’s greatest desire will not be a brand new Rolls Royce, but eternal treasures in Christ.

This world can never satisfy our deepest longings, but if we choose to delight in God’s way, He will always provide above and beyond our expectations. Jesus said, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).

Contentment Is An Illusive Animal

6But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 7For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Contentment is an illusive animal. You can search for it all day long but if you are looking in the wrong places, you will not find it. Some will search in the piles of money they have or in and around their big mansion on the lake. They might even look for it in the trunk of their very fancy and expensive car. But, their searching is to no avail. Why?

When you search for contentment you must have the proper equipment, which includes God’s word, a repentant heart and a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. These tools will prevent you from falling into temptation or harmful desires created by Satan.

As Paul says in verse 10 above, “the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil. If you pursue it too long you will wander away from the faith and be pierced by many griefs.” If you believe God’s word to be true, then you will also find it to be your greatest source of contentment. God makes many promises to his children (that’s us) stating He will take care of every need we have.

All the devil has to offer is empty promises, deceit and lies.

The next time you find yourself pursuing that promotion to the exclusion of all else, or spending the last bit of your paycheck to buy lottery tickets in hopes of winning the big one, then you may find you’ve fallen into the devil’s trap. He makes all of this look great but in the end, you will find yourself miserable and wishing you’d made the right choice of finding contentment with Jesus.

A final thought so supremely captured in verse 7 above says, “For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.” Trust in God to be happy until He calls you home to the supreme contentment of your life, in heaven.