I want to give you a challenging definition of the word contentment. Most people accept this word to simply mean OK. However, the true definition of contentment is an “internal satisfaction which does not demand changes in external circumstances; satisfaction; satisfied.” When I am satisfied I need nothing else. If we think about it in terms of food, it is the point where we are full, and if you eat beyond that you will make yourself sick. When you are content you are full, but full of what?
I recently listened to the testimony of a man of God who I know walks in contentment, Todd White. He was sharing about how just a few weeks ago they were in the hospital and lost a child via a failed pregnancy. He shared about being in the room when they found out, the pre-op and waiting during surgery, all the emotion and time spent in recovery, etc. Were they saddened? Yes. Did they feel loss? Yes. Were they shaken and distraught? Absolutely not. He shared about how the entire time they were there they shared the gospel with others including nurses and doctors, how he was sharing words of knowledge with people in the room, how they prayed for and saw healings, even though they were there dealing with death and loss. People would come in to console them, and he would flip it on them and they would be the ones crying while he poured in to them and shared about his life and overcoming trials, and what true contentment is. And when they were released to return home, the first thing they did as a family was sit in their living room and offer up worship to the Lord for allowing them to go through this and show the world around them who God is in the midst of it.
What causes someone in such great adversity to act this way? It’s because who they are demands no change to external circumstance. They are satisfied. They are full. Think about this. It’s an internal satisfaction… You are a child of the King! Jesus lives INSIDE of you; inside…internal…an Internal satisfaction. Get it? When we are so full of Jesus, nothing we face or walk through can change what comes out of us, because it has no effect on who we are. What comes out is Jesus.
I pray and share with people often and it never ceases to amaze me how often, even here in the Bible belt, I hear, “I have never heard the Gospel,” or “I have never had anyone share with me like this, or express God to me like this.” I believe the reason is something the man of God hit on. Most Christians are so overwhelmed by external circumstances that they aren’t able to, or just simply don’t take the time to manifest who God is.
Church, we have a destiny, and it is to constantly manifest Jesus even in the midst of great adversity and the woes of life so that the world around us can know who he is. Your contentment is not just for you. It’s for the kingdom.