Encouragement for Today - June 28, 2005
Encouragement for Today
“Godliness with Contentment … Great Gain” – Part 1
Amy Kidd, Graduate of She Speaks Conference
1 Timothy 6:6, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (NIV)
It’s on the slower days at work where I begin to vainly imagine something better or more purposeful I could be doing. I say to myself, Did I get a degree to just sit around and twiddle my thumbs? And then of course there are those days when my workload is so overwhelming I second-guess whether I can even manage this job with the energy I have left. But on the not-so-busy days, it’s like there is something more exciting that I feel like I am missing out on.
I get these daily aspirations – dreams, promptings, or what some would call discontent thoughts, which throw me into another existence as a singer, actress, missionary or just a brave lone traveler! Questions arise like, “Am I doing all I am suppose to do? Am I fulfilling my purpose in this life? Is there a purpose? “Is there really a Master, painting on the canvas of creation, a tapestry where my particular color has a place?”
I sometimes feel like I am living an adventure and sometimes I feel like my life wouldn’t even make it to the obituary page! But the real question here is this, why am I always grasping for something better, something more? I imagine a better job with more freedom and money, a husband and children, a singing or acting career, a better figure, etc. All these things are greener grasses on the other side right? So many people in the world have it better than me? Or do they?
Comparison: Friend or Foe?
I have discovered that comparison can be your worst enemy or your greatest companion. It depends on who you are comparing yourself to. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need a wishy washy friend like that around! I began to think about this and it occurred to me that we always grasp for the wind, identifying so many tangible things as possible solutions that will finally bring the fulfillment for which we long. It’s always on the other side of where we are today. The Rolling Stones said it best with the lyrics, “I can’t get no, satisfaction!”
Every time I begin to try and find my life, I seem to lose it; I begin to find discontentment. I am reminded that the Bible says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” The Word tells us that we are to find our purpose in Christ. It says He is in all things and is working out His plan in all things, especially in and through us and that He has designs on us for glorious living.
Happiness or Joy?
This glorious living may not necessarily look glorious to the person consumed with the ways of the world. That person will tell you fame, riches, sex, and the list goes on, will bring you happiness. And that is true. You may find happiness. But remember that the word happy comes from what is happening. Your joy depends on your circumstance when you are living a life that looks and searches for joy within tangible things.
Take away that thing or person that makes you happy and who are you? Do you have an identity apart from whatever it is you depend on for joy? It is a sad perspective of self when you depend on the happenstance of someone else’s concern for you to find joy in life. Yes, we are to enjoy one another. God made us to love one another in relationships. But we should not depend on one another for joy moment by moment. That’s impossible for anyone to live up to in your life.
Know this: it is the unseen, intangible and eternal work of the cross in your life that will bring you true joy and life. Jesus said to find your life you must lose it first. Is everything about you these days? There will be ups and downs all along this road of life, but it’s the foundation that you build your life upon that determines if your house will stand. Did you know Scripture mentions God as the Rock 42 times in the Bible? And Jesus is referred to as the Chief Cornerstone.
As long as you depend on others for your joy, you will be on a roller coaster ride of emotions for the rest of your life. The foundation of Christ is the only One who brings stillness in the midst of the storm. Your home, built upon the Rock of Jesus Christ, will not falter or fail if the winds of change or difficult circumstances come.
My Prayer for Today:
Father, help me to be content with the lot you have assigned me and to be faithful to the promptings of your Spirit today. I pray you will guard my mind against unhealthy comparisons and envy that might try to steal my joy. Remind me that it is in you alone where I can find true joy and contentment in this life. People and circumstances are bound to fail me, but Your Word says You will never fail me. Help me to see with spiritual eyes and understanding. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Make a list of the things you are dissatisfied with in your life. Ask God to help you identify things on the list that within your capability to change. Then pray for God’s Grace to help you learn to live with contentment with those items that are unchangeable.
Why am I not content with what God has already given me?
Do you compare myself with others?
Do I truly understand the difference between happiness and joy?
John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (NIV)
Acts 2:28, "You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence."(NIV)
Romans 14:17, "For the
Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (NIV)
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