Contentment in Christ
Last Sunday we meditated upon the topic of ‘Contentment in Christ’ in reference to King David’s A Song of Ascents (Psalm 131). A mere three verses; easy to read but hard to digest in the mind and soul.
“My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.
But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother;
Like a weaned child I am content.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore”
The Bible mentions contentment, which simply means to be self-sufficient or independent in the Greek, or “to be pleased” in Hebrews. It openly uses it synonymously with being in a place of satisfaction. The worldly definition of contentment is usually happiness or at least the pursuit of it; but the Bible and specifically Psalm 131 peers deeper into ‘contentment’. An intimate contentment, rooted and only found in Jesus Christ, requires of us three things: humility, rest and hope.
H U M I L I T Y
In songs of worship, we present ourselves before an almighty, everlasting and all-powerful God who resurrects the dead; commands the forces of nature to obey him; and heals the sick with his fingers. Fully God yet fully human, he calls us to accept and submit to God’s will and reign. We can follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ only if we have a humble attitude, being obedient to the Holy Spirit. C.S Lewis famously said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less”. Living in humility brushes away the desire to be self-sufficient. Instead we recognise the surging need for Christ. Romans 12:3 warns plainly against prideful thoughts, saying:
How can we be considered humble? Living our life soberly aware of our standing with God. It’s the result of finding complete and sufficient contentment in the person of Jesus, and recognising that nothing this earthly life can offer will ever compare with the offerings of Christ. In fact, “God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). How sweet is the never-ending grace of God!
R E S T
In the hustle and bustle of this contemporary age, being restful or well-rested is increasingly difficult. To be busy is to be occupied and to be occupied contributes to our sense of importance. Is it not enough that God delights in us? God does. And he wants a visa-versa relationship in that regard.
Finding rest in Jesus sounds idealistic but is a common Christian struggle. Being well-rested in Jesus means having a steadfast trust and faith in the unseen. A quiet confidence that is grounded in the knowledge of God’s faithfulness. God invites us into His unique rest (Matthew 11:28-30) and offloads the burden of self-salvation. Jesus bore the cross we deserved, and offers to carry our burdens. Contentment in Christ realises the unfailing partnership that exists between us and Jesus.
H O P E
A central feature to trust and faith is this: living confidently in Jesus Christ. The Bible reminds us again and again to put “hope in the Lord” (Psalm 131:3). This is the same Lord who enables us to freely soar in surrender (Isaiah 40:31) and who never fails us in the same way people can (and do). To have hope in Christ is to invite ourselves into complete contentment in Him. Hope defies rationale and counter-culturally challenges our sinful human nature. Hope spurs us on, and delights God.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You that You are steadfast and everlasting. Because of Your Son, Jesus, I can have a relationship with You that is fully content and does not need wordly supplement. I pray that You would transform my heart and mind to remain in this contentment, and to love, hope and find rest in You sincerely.
In Your holy name I pray,