Living with Contentment

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Is there any greater picture of contentment than a baby who has just finished nursing, sleeping in its mother’s arms? That’s the picture the Psalmist provides in Psalm 131. 


“O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;

my eyes are not raised too high;

I do not occupy myself with things

too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,

like a weaned child with its mother;

like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord

from this time forth and forevermore” (Psalm 131 ESV).


The psalmist mentions two attitudes we must have to be content: humility and trust.


“My heart is not lifted up” or, in the New International Version, “My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty.” When we are proud, we are not dependent on the Lord. We tend to rely on our own strength rather than on God’s. A prideful person is not content with what she has. Instead, she compares herself to others and thinks that she deserves better. This is the opposite of humility.


“I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.” When we trust in God, we recognize that He is in control. We may not understand how He is working through our circumstances, but we know that “all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 ESV). He sees the bigger picture, and we can be content knowing that He will take care of us.


Paul knew this secret. He had lived through shipwrecks, had been beaten, stoned, imprisoned and tried unjustly, yet he was content. 


“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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:11-13).


If we can trust God in our circumstances, in spite of our circumstances, and lean on His strength, we, too, can share in Paul’s secret.


If you’re still trying to find contentment, start by asking God to calm and quiet your soul. You might also want to read some of the articles that Just Between Us (JBU) has gathered on contentment. We pray that through stories of women like yourself, and through His Word, God will show you the secret of living with contentment.


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