Welcome Many of you know that I have been working on increasing my contentment and joy, while decreasing behaviors such as envy, jealousy, complaining, and bitterness. Let me tell ya, folks, it ain’t easy! The longer we participate in negative behaviors, the harder it is to shed the bad habits. The biggest difference that I’ve noticed, however, is that I’m more aware of what I’m doing wrong. And then I feel guilty, which seems to make the cycle worse. But here’s the truth: I need to be aware of my wrong actions and attitudes. I need to know what I’m doing and I need to know that it’s wrong. Otherwise, how would I know to fix the problem? And do I really want to be that person who is never happy and always complaining? Of course not, I want to make it better. The best way to address these sorts of difficulties is to spend time in God’s Word, a combination of Bible study, devotionals, and faith-based literature. I read a recent morning devotional that addressed contentment specifically, and led me to writing a contentment prayer.
Food For Thought Many of us are familiar with the verse of Philippians 4:11, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Paul sure does set a good example in this verse for us, while at the same time making me very aware of my own guilt and discontent. It’s hard to be content when we are in the midst of life’s messy circumstances.
I drive a 2006 SUV, that we bought three days before our daughter was born. This vehicle brought her home from the hospital. It’s the vehicle that has made trips to Wisconsin, Colorado, Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina. Our little family has had many adventures in this truly dependable vehicle. It also provided a reliable way to get back and forth to work, as well as getting my daughter to daycare, school, and a variety of other activities. We like this car. But it is fast approaching thirteen years old and 200K miles. It has dings and dents and cracks. And recently, it has started running the windshield wipers nonstop. Yes, I drive around town in 100 degree heat with my windshield wipers going like crazy. It’s silly and embarrassing and I’m beginning to find it hard to be content with the aging vehicle I’m driving. I’d really like a new car, but who doesn’t? On the other hand, my daughter is quite content to ride in this wacky automobile. At her age, I would expect to get the “Mooo–om, make it stop! People are looking at us!” Nope, she giggles and says, “Our car is so friendly, it’s waving to all the other cars as they go by. Too bad the other cars don’t wave back.” What a great example of being content with what we have and making the best of it. I think I can learn a little something from her positive attitude!
I know this car example is pretty minor compared to other circumstances we face. It’s hard to find contentment in a job we hate or when battling a disease that leaves us in pain and unable to live the life we desire. It would be equally difficult to be content when you find yourself without a home or food for your family. But in my devotional I was reminded that my God can supply all my needs and I can trust His promise in that, rather than simply giving in to everything society says I need and want. Paul had a faith and trust in God that can lead us, too, to a place of peace and contentment, if we learn to rely on God’s power and promises.
Today’s Prayer The devotional I read is also part of a prayer journal I work in. After reading this devotional I wrote the following prayer about my own contentment.
Dear Heavenly Father, These words I read today are my prayer to You. It has been such a long time since I have felt content, a long time since I felt genuinely happy. My Dear God, I want to be content. I want to be satisfied with the many amazing blessings You grant me every single day. I want to stop chasing and grasping. I want to stop the looking and longing. I want to be at peace with Your provision, knowing I need no more and no less. God, I ask You to walk with me and help me remember how to be content in all circumstances as I am instructed in Your word. Help me to remember to rely on You for all I need. I ask this prayer in Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.
Today’s Scriptures I’m sharing four of my Bible journaling pages with scriptures I like for contentment, in addition to Philippians 4:11.
Inspiration for today’s journal pages: Eternal Answers Ministry , Instagram, and my own original ideas.