The message was brought by Rev. Stuart Orr.
Finding joy where we are—contentment can’t be bought with money. Life in America is full of luxury. Food, water, and shelter are all some have and they are content. It’s everyday living in third world countries. We are so blessed. Some in America are content to be homeless. Contentment is being satisfied with the state you’re in. The only state not to be content in is a state of sin. I want you uncomfortable if you’re in sin.
Hebrews 13: 5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Trying to find peace and contentment in this world is like asking what others can do for me. We are to help each other but we are not to be coveting what our neighbor has. Many chase things they shouldn’t. The devil works as a driving force to lure you away from God. He makes things seem attractive. He gets you discontent and ruins your life. “If I just had….” Then you get it and find it doesn’t bring the thrill you thought it would. People who get addicted to drugs start with a small dose. It helps for a while and gives the high they need. Then they need more. That’s what the devil does with making us covet. You can be in a financial prison. It becomes an endless cycle.
What are you content with? I grew up on the poor side. I don’t have the fanciest car around. I’m all right with that. Lack of contentment has done a lot to mankind. Look at Adam and Eve. God communed with them every day and they weren’t happy with that. There was one tree they couldn’t have and that is what they wanted. Human nature will desire what God says we shouldn’t. I still face temptation. We will be tempted but God has promised us a way of escape. It reminds us we need God every day. What is the end of what you want? Take everything to God because he knows what is best. Verse 6 says the Lord is my helper. He is with us. If my car breaks down, it’s all right. God is with me. Have hospital bills? Take them to God. It’s not our responsibility to tell God how to work. Our job is to trust God because he is our help. He’s good.
Samson wasn’t happy either. He chased after foreign women instead of the women of Israel. He got a good one all right. She wanted to know the source of his strength. He finally told her. She cut his hair and his strength was gone. They plucked out his eyes. That’s what coveting did to Samson. If he’d been content to stay in Israel he wouldn’t have gone through all he did.
David was pleasing to the Lord but he got into trouble coveting a woman already married to someone else. He tried to hide it. It cost him. The baby died but the sword never left David’s house. His own son rose against him. He reached for what he desired and suffered. God will not force us to make the right decision. He may put roadblocks out but the decision is ours. If we refuse to listen and do it anyway, the fault is ours.
The Hebrews were miraculously brought out of Egypt yet they murmured and complained. They had water every day. They had food every day. All they had to do was gather it and move when the cloud moved. They complained after all God had done. He sent them so much quail they were sick of it. They told Moses they were better off in Egypt. God is longsuffering but he had enough. They did die in the wilderness. People have lost their fear of God. Sometimes it takes chastisement to get us where we need to be.
The book of Philippians gives us good insight on contentment. Chapter 4, verse 8 says finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Think of these things. Where did Eve go wrong? She looked at that tree every day. She probably got closer to it each time. The only thing she found was a snake that talked to her. She wasn’t afraid of it. He convinced her to eat. She ate and didn’t die. She convinced Adam to eat. Now they wanted to hide from God. When God asked where they were it wasn’t because he didn’t know. God is not happy about our mistakes. We need to go to him and admit what happened. He’s willing to forgive us when we fail.
Think on the lovely, the pure, and the good. Put your situation to the Philippians 4 test. Is it good? No. Don’t do it. Without assurance, don’t act on doubt. There are things that aren’t sinful but God may not want them as a distraction in our life. Paul said if it bothered his brother that he ate meat, he’d not eat meat. Put others first and don’t be a hindrance by your life.
Verses 11-13 state not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. It’s about the fact that I don’t have to chase after things. Am I content with where God has put me?
Peter walked on the water but got his eyes off the Lord and on the storm. He was on firm ground while he looked to the Lord. He began to sink and said “Lord, save me.” I need help every day with the battles this old body faces. I can face each day with a good attitude and thank the Lord. It’s a good day when I can get out of bed, be with my family and go to work. Put it to the Philippians test and count your blessings.