Can We Learn To Be Content?

Are you unhappy about circumstances you can’t change? Maybe you are married to an unbeliever. Maybe you are a widow. Perhaps you are single and want to be married. Maybe, like Paul, you are in prison. Whatever your circumstances you can learn to be content.

I was listening to a Christian podcast as I walked my dog, Henry. I often listen to other Christian thinkers or pray as I walk my little buddy 2 or 3 times a day.

This is Henry waiting for his walk.

Something the speaker said really jumped out to me. He emphasized the word learned in the following passage.

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:11-12, The Apostle Paul speaking (emphasis mine)

Paul didn’t say, “I’m content in every circumstance.” He said, “I have learned to be content.”

Just like we learn to be discerning, patient, self-controlled, godly, etc., we must also must learn to be content in every situation. This was something I had never noticed before even though I have read the passage many times.

There are circumstances in my life that have kept me from being content. I am thankful for what God has given me. I can make a long list of the things I am grateful for in my life, but there is one thing that keeps me from being genuinely content.

When I realized that contentment is something I can learn, I was very encouraged. So I am asking the Lord to teach me how to be content in my present situation. I believe He will. In fact, I already have a different perspective on it.

My message to you: If you aren’t content in your present situation, ask the Lord to teach you how to be content. Tell Jesus you want to learn how to be content. I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t pray for God to change our situation. But sometimes, our need is to be content where we are.

If Paul could learn to be content when in prison or when going hungry, we can also learn to be content no matter what our circumstances happen to be.

My prayer is that this short lesson will give you hope, knowing that Jesus can and will teach you how to be content. Ask Him.

 But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6

“Teach me, Lord …” Psalm 119:33a

In His Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? See my page Who Is Jesus?

All Scripture references are from the NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash