By Eren Mckay
Filed under Relationship With God
Keys to Being Content and at Peace in Any Circumstance
Do you feel like no matter what happens you can’t seem to be content and at peace with your life? Like no matter how much you try to resolve things there is always something to steal your joy?
The Example of a Joyful Family in Poverty Causes Me to Look Inside Myself
I felt like this for a long time. Like I was on this roller coaster ride. Sometimes I was content and other times the peace simply fled from me. The turning point for me happened one day while I was watching a documentary about poverty on T.V. Something struck me. In my spirit I felt the Lord speaking to me through this T.V. show.
I was amazed as I watched this family of nine try to cram together to sleep on the dirt floor of a hut that was made out of cardboard and recycled materials. When it rained everything in their little hut got wet including them.
I knew what poverty was- after all I’ve lived in a 3rd world country most of my life. I’ve volunteered to help poor children for many years and seen up close the terrible aspects of poverty. What really got to me were the genuine expressions of joy that the whole family had in the midst of these dire circumstances. They all had smiles on their faces and were laughing! They looked so happy!
The reporter (who also was in awe) asked them “Why are you all so happy?” I knew what the reporter was thinking. I could just tell by his expression. He was thinking “How in the world can they be so happy in this miserable condition?” The father’s simple reply to his question was “We’re just glad to have a roof over our heads and that we can all be together.”
Should Contentment be Circumstantial?
Wow! What a lesson that father was giving me. Here I had so much more than he could ever dream of but I was not even close to being content like he and his family were. I really felt the Holy Spirit speaking to my soul. The Lord was showing me, through this family’s life, that contentment and happiness did not depend on circumstances and possessions. If it depended on circumstances, then this family “should not” be happy- right?
What was their secret? How could they be so happy and content in such a situation? If all of us can find out the secret to that question we can all be happy no matter what situation we are in.
Difficult Circumstances Show Us What’s Inside
Being content is not something that magically happens when difficult circumstances arise. The trials and difficulties will show us if we are truly content or not. Many people think they are content but when they face trials they get really mad —really fast. The “peace” that they believe to have will leave quickly. It goes to show that the peace that they have is not the right kind. It’s not everlasting peace. The kind that the Lord gives us.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
A truly content person will not stop being that way when the going gets rough. This doesn’t mean that they won’t get upset. After all, God made us with feelings and emotions. But even though we may experience emotions, God’s peace shouldn’t leave our hearts during the turmoil.
What is the key to having a truly content heart? How can you be certain that this is a reality inside of you? Sometimes we are blinded by our pride. Other times we simply have not had the chance to see ourselves— to look inside of our “spiritual mirror”.
I used to think I was content. Then, the storm winds started to blow in my life. “Rocks” started to fall on my head and boy was I mad! I had no idea that I did not have a content heart until I went through the fire. The trials brought out problems that I didn’t even know were there. God knew that those problems were there but I certainly didn’t.
Fire is God’s mirror for us to see what’s in our hearts
Fire refines gold bringing the impurities to the surface. In the same way, many times the Lord will take us through trials to show us what needs to be changed in our hearts. God uses difficulties as a mirror for us to see ourselves.
The people of Israel had to go through the “fire”. Their trial was walking around the desert for 40 years. When the Lord took the people of Israel through the desert He had a purpose. Did the Almighty Creator of the universe know what was inside of their hearts? Of course He knew. So why did He take them through the desert?
This verse tells us:
And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, [and] to prove thee, to know what [was] in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
The answer is to:
3- Know what was in their hearts.
Do you feel like you are going through trials in your own life? Do you ever wonder why you are going through them? Well the answer is that the Lord has a work to do in the hearts of His children. And you being His child need to grow into a point of maturity in Him. He knows what is in your heart- but you need to know it.
The first step to being transformed is being able to see that you have a problem. How can you change if you never see that you have a problem? The trials help us see these problems. They help us discover what is in our hearts.
Unfortunately people go through the trials and throw themselves into a “pity party” instead of asking their Creator what He wants to show them. He desires to see us clean- but for this to happen we need to acknowledge there is a root of discontentment in us.
We need to see that it is there so He can deal with it and transform us. We need to apply the Word of God to our lives. Acknowledging our discontentment is the first step to becoming content.
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Here is the continuation of biblical principles of Spiritual Christian Contentment:
Part 2 of Being Content
Trusting God Scriptures: believing in God in times of crisis is a key to contentment
Part 3 of Being Content
Letting go of the past: how to let go of the past to achieve a peaceful and content life
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