Contentment can be elusive. I have finally come to the strong belief that whatever I focus on I give great power in my life. If I focus on the negative – I feel defeated, depressed and discouraged. And if I focus on the positive – which far outweighs the negative - I feel encouraged, inspired and completely content. God tells us through Paul’s writing in Philippians 4:8…
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
Today it is easy for me to be content. I am in Cabo San Lucas with my sweet husband on a trip I earned for free through my Premier Designs jewelry business. So my plan for today is to rest and relax and enjoy my day with the man God has given to me. But, I wanted to share with you a post from 2 years ago when I very first started blogging. I hope it inspires you to chase after true contentment that can only come from your Creator. I challenge you to apply Philippians 4:8 in your day and only meditate on good things. Let me know how you do.
Oh Happy Day!
Oh Happy Day! Did you wake up today singing…”Oh Happy Day!”? Is it a happy day? Are you full of joy or full of grumbling? Do you wake up excited about the new day or do you wake up dreading the day ahead? We all have good days and we all have bad days. There are days when we would prefer to just go crawl back into bed and pull the covers over our head. We are emotional creatures and find it easier to dwell on all that is wrong in our lives instead of all that is right in our lives. What if we decided that we are just going to be content? Once we discover contentment we can finally honestly sing, “Oh happy day!”
What is contentment? Contentment is the state of being mentally and emotionally satisfied with things as they are. For some reason we decide “if I could just be 20 pounds lighter – I would be happy.” Or “if we just had a little more money, I would be happy.” Or “if we had a bigger house…had a better marriage…had a baby…if I could change jobs…if – if – if”. But what about things…just as they are? Can we find contentment?
Did you know that if we have a roof over our head and a meal on the table – global statistics show that we are richer than 93 percent of the world’s population? That is hard to even imagine. We have so much more than just a roof over our head and a meal on the table. We have cars and new clothes, jewelry and swimming pools. We wear designer shoes and eat in restaurants. We throw away as much food as we eat. Yet still…if we just had a little more money we could sing, “Oh happy day!” But the truth is we have so much to be thankful for – so much to be happy about.
The same is true regarding our weight, our health, our marriage, our house, our work – we are blessed beyond measure. Yet, we choose to dwell on the negative instead of pursuing the positive. If we allow it - our discontentment leads us to becoming unhappy in our life. Once we are unhappy we continue down the path until we are just plain miserable. We don’t want that, do we?
There are two great examples in the Bible that show us what it means to be discontent and what it means to be content. We surely have a choice. We can be like the Israelites. Remember them? After God performed the miracle of parting the Red Sea and delivered them from slavery in Egypt – what did they do? They complained. They grumbled about their hard trip, their food, their water. They even wished they could go back to Egypt. Then there is Paul. Wow! Now Paul, he endured some struggles. He suffered, was imprisoned and went without the comforts of life more than we could even imagine. Yet, he discovered the secret of contentment. In Philippians 4:12-13 he writes…
“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
So, we have a choice. Are we going to be like the Israelites and sit here with all God’s blessing and still grumble? Or are we going to be like Paul and know that no matter what our circumstances we can sing “Oh Happy Day” because our joy comes from our relationship with Christ?
I choose contentment. What about you? Let’s all sing together “Oh happy day! Oh happy day! When Jesus washed my sins away!” That in itself is enough reason to be happy – full of joy – thankful and blessed!